Munster & Leinster Name Teams As The Guinness PRO14 Returns

New season.

The Munster team has been named for Saturday’s Guinness PRO14 opener against Dragons at Thomond Park  Billy Holland captains the side as the lock begins his 13th season as a senior player with four Academy players included in the squad.

Hooker Kevin O’Byrne starts the clash on his 50th Munster appearance. Nick McCarthy makes his competitive debut for the province at scrum-half and partners JJ Hanrahan in the half-backs.

Head Coach Johann van Graan has opted to name six forwards on the bench with Academy players Diarmuid Barron, Keynan Knox, Jack O’Sullivan and Liam Coombes among the replacements. Knox and O’Sullivan are in line to make their competitive Munster debuts.

Munster: Mike Haley; Darren Sweetnam, Rory Scannell, Tyler Bleyendaal, Shane Daly, JJ Hanrahan, Nick McCarthy; Jeremy Loughman, Kevin O’Byrne, Stephen Archer; Fineen Wycherley, Billy Holland (C); Jack O’Donoghue, Tommy O’Donnell, Arno Botha.

Replacements: Diarmuid Barron, James Cronin, Keynan Knox, Darren O’Shea, Chris Cloete, Alby Mathewson, Liam Coombes, Jack O’Sullivan.

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has also named his team for their PRO14 opener with Treviso. Devin Toner starts in the second-row after missing out on Rugby World Cup selection with Ireland.

Fellow Ireland internationals Dave Kearney, Ross Byrne and Adam Byrne are also included, with Joe Tomane named in midfield alongside Rory O’Loughlin.

Ross Molony captains the side with potential debuts from the bench for Michael Milne and Harry Byrne.

Leinster: Jimmy O’Brien, Adam Byrne, Rory O’Loughlin, Joe Tomane, Dave Kearney, Ross Byrne, Jamison Gibson Park, Peter Dooley, Ronan Kelleher, Michael Bent, Ross Molony (C), Devin Toner, Max Deegan, Will Connors, Caelan Doris

Replacements: James Tracy, Michael Milne, Vakh Abdaladze, Josh Murphy, Scott Penny, Hugh O’Sullivan, Harry Byrne, Hugo Keenan

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