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Chris Farrell heads list of returning stars for Munster as Connacht rest Aki and Dillane

For the first time this season, Munster will play without Billy Holland.

MUNSTER WILL PLAY without Billy Holland for the first time this season, but can consider themselves bolstered by the return of Chris Farrell, Rhys Marshall and Conor Oliver from injury for tomorrow’s inter-pro meeting with Connacht in Thomond Park (kick-off 19.45).

Chris Farrell Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Farrell partners Rory Scannell opposite a new Connacht midfield combination of Eoin Griffin and Pita Ahki. Bundee Aki, who started for Ireland alongside Farrell in November, is rested along with fellow internationals Ultan Dillane and Kieran Marmion.

In all, head coach Kieran Keane has made eight changes to the side that pushed Leinster to the pin of their collar in the RDS on Monday. Crucially, captain John Muldoon and openside Jarrad Butler join the excellent academy product Cillian Gallagher in the back row.

Cillian Gallagher arrives Cillian Gallagher ahead of the meeting with Leinster on New Year's Day. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Johann van Graan’s team-sheet sees a total of 10 changes, with only Simon Zebo and Keith Earls retained in the back-line after their 14-man loss to Ulster.

Conor Murray and Ian Keatley return to guide the team from half-back while CJ Stander captains his team from number eight with Dublin native Oliver playing for the first time this season after shoulder injury.

Munster:

15. Simon Zebo
14. Andrew Conway
13. Chris Farrell
12. Rory Scannell
11. Keith Earls
10. Ian Keatley
9. Conor Murray

1. Dave Kilcoyne
2. Rhys Marshall
3. John Ryan
4. Jean Kleyn
5. Darren O’Shea
6. Jack O’Donoghue
7. Conor Oliver
8. CJ Stander (Capt).

Replacements:

16. Mike Sherry
17. James Cronin
18. Stephen Archer
19. Robin Copeland
20. Peter O’Mahony
21. Duncan Williams
22. Bill Johnston
23. Darren Sweetnam

Connacht:

15. Tiernan O’Halloran
14. Niyi Adeolokun
13. Eoin Griffin
12. Pita Ahki
11. Matt Healy
10. Jack Carty
9. Caolin Blade:

1. Peter McCabe
2. Tom McCartney
3. Conor Carey
4. Quinn Roux
5. James Cannon
6. Cillian Gallagher
7. Jarrad Butler
8. John Muldoon (Capt)

Replacements:

16. Shane Delahunt
17. Conan O’Donnell
18. Finlay Bealham
19. Gavin Thornbury
20. Paul Boyle
21. James Mitchell
22. Craig Ronaldson
23. Darragh Leader

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