BREAKING: Munster & Leinster Name Teams For St. Stephen’s Day Clash
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This is going to be an absolute cracker.
Head Coach Johann van Graan makes four changes to the side that defeated Leicester in the Champions Cup last weekend for Munster’s sold-out Interprovincial derby against Leinster in Thomond Park on St Stephen’s Day.
Returning to the side are Rhys Marshall and Andrew Conway with both players successfully completing their return to play protocols. Keith Earls and Tommy O’Donnell are also named to start for the first time since Connacht in round seven.
Named in the replacements is James Cronin who is returning from a calf injury sustained while playing for the Barbarians against Tonga in November.
Munster: Andrew Conway; Darren Sweetnam, Sammy Arnold, Rory Scannell, Keith Earls; Ian Keatley, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Rhys Marshall, Stephen Archer; Jean Kleyn, Billy Holland; Peter O’Mahony (c), Tommy O’Donnell, CJ Stander.
Replacements: Niall Scannell, James Cronin, John Ryan, Darren O’Shea, Jack O’Donoghue, Duncan Williams, JJ Hanrahan, Simon Zebo.
Meanwhile Leinster academy back Jordan Larmour makes his first senior start against Munster from fullback with Barry Daly returning from ankle injury to take his place on the right wing. On the left wing new signing James Lowe makes his second appearance in blue after his two-try debut in Italy a few weeks ago.
In the pack Jack McGrath captains the side for the first time ever. The St Mary’s club man who has played 121 times for Leinster and 42 times for Ireland is joined in the front row by fellow internationals James Tracy and Michael Bent.
Leinster Rugby (caps in brackets):
15. Jordan Larmour (10)
14. Barry Daly (16)
13. Rory O’Loughlin (31)
12. Robbie Henshaw (18)
11. James Lowe (1)
10. Ross Byrne (37)
9. Jamison Gibson-Park (40)
1. Jack McGrath (121) CAPTAIN
2. James Tracy (53)
3. Michael Bent (97)
4. Devin Toner (207)
5. James Ryan (7)
6. Jordi Murphy (95)
7. Dan Leavy (45)
8. Jack Conan (63)
16. Richardt Strauss (150)
17. Ed Byrne (14)
18. Tadhg Furlong (74)
19. Mick Kearney (26)
20. Josh van der Flier (56)
21. Nick McCarthy (14)
22. Cathal Marsh (25)
23. Noel Reid (90)