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Flanagan's first start one of five Munster changes from Leinster loss

The southern province begin their Champions Cup campaign away to Castres on Sunday afternoon.

Mark Flanagan Munster lock Mark Flanagan. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

DIRECTOR OF RUGBY Rassie Erasmus has rung the changes to his Munster side for their European Champions Cup opener against Castres.

From last weekend’s Guinness Pro14 defeat to Leinster, there are five personnel amendments for the southern province for their Pool 4 encounter at Stade Pierre Fabre on Sunday afternoon [KO 1.00pm, Sky Sports Action].

Simon Zebo comes in at full-back in place of JJ Hanrahan, who’ll play for the Munster ‘A’ side this weekend in their British & Irish Cup clash with Ospreys Premiership Select.

Darren Sweetnam starts on the wing, with Andrew Conway dropping to the bench. Tyler Bleyendaal reverts from centre to out-half at the expense of Ian Keatley, so Rory Scannell is drafted back in to partner Chris Farrell in midfield.

In the pack, Saracens lock Mark Flanagan makes his first Munster start since joining on loan last month. He replaces Robin Copeland alongside Billy Holland in the second row. Stephen Archer gets the nod in the front row ahead of John Ryan.

Munster:

15. Simon Zebo
14. Darren Sweetnam
13. Chris Farrell
12. Rory Scannell
11. Keith Earls
10. Tyler Bleyendaal
9. Conor Murray

1. Dave Kilcoyne
2. Niall Scannell
3. Stephen Archer
4. Mark Flanagan
5. Billy Holland
6. Peter O’Mahony (captain)
7. Tommy O’Donnell
8. CJ Stander

Replacements:

16. Rhys Marshall
17. Liam O’Connor
18. John Ryan
19. Robin Copeland
20. Jack O’Donoghue
21. Duncan Williams
22. Ian Keatley
23. Andrew Conway

Castres:

15. Julien Dumora
14. Taylor Paris
13. Afusipa Taumoepeau
12. Robert Ebersohn
11. David Smith
10. Benjamin Urdapilleta
9. Rory Kockott

1. Antoine Tichit
2. Jody Jenneker
3. Daniel Kotze
4. Loic Jacquet
5. Rodrigo Capo Ortega
6. Yannick Caballero
7. Steve Mafi
8. Maama Vaipulu

Replacements:

16. Marc-Antoine Rallier
17. Mihaita Lazar
18. Damien Tussac
19. Christophe Samson
20. Anthony Jelonch
21. Ludovic Radosavljevic
22. Florian Vialelle
23. Armand Batlle

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