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11 changes for Munster and a host of Ulster names return as they prepare for battle

The teams are in for Monday’s clash at Kingspan Stadium.

MUNSTER AND ULSTER have both shown their hand ahead of their Guinness PRO14 Interprovincial on New Year’s Day at Kingspan Stadium (kick-off 5.35pm).

ladz Keith Earls and Jean Deysel both start after lay-offs.

Johann van Graan has made 11 changes to his starting XV that were beaten by Leinster in Thomond Park four days ago, with Billy Holland taking over the captaincy duties.

James Cronin, Niall Scannell and John Ryan start together in the front row for the first time this season, while Darren O’Shea joins Holland in the second row.

Tommy O’Donnell keeps his place but makes the positional switch to blindside, with Chris Cloete returning to openside and Jack O’Donoghue starting at 8.

Keith Earls returns after an illness and joins Sammy Arnold to form a new midfield partnership.

Alex Wootton lines out on the left wing, Calvin Nash earns his first start of the season on the opposite flank and Simon Zebo completes the back three.

Duncan Williams and JJ Hanrahan form the half back pairing.

Ronan O’Mahony is included in his first match day squad of the season, after recovering from a fractured fibula he sustained against Treviso last April.

Munster

15. Simon Zebo
14. Calvin Nash
13. Keith Earls
12. Sammy Arnold
11. Alex Wootton
10. JJ Hanrahan
9. Duncan Williams

1. James Cronin
2. Niall Scannell
3. John Ryan
4. Darren O’Shea
5. Billy Holland (captain)
6. Tommy O’Donnell
7. Chris Cloete
8. Jack O’Donoghue.

Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, Rory Loughman, Stephen Archer, Fineen Wycherley, Robin Copeland, James Hart, Bill Johnston, Ronan O’Mahony.

Ulster meanwhile have some promising returnees of their own.

Rob Herring has recovered from concussion and will captain the side for the tie while Rodney Ah You and Kyle McCall return from two-month injury lay-offs — wrist and shoulder respectively — and will join the captain in the front row.

Jean Deysel, who has also been out of action for over two months, is named at number 8.

Rob Lyttle will make his first start of the season, named on the left wing.

Ulster

15. Charles Piutau
14. Craig Gilroy
13. Louis Ludik
12. Stuart McCloskey
11. Rob Lyttle
10. Christian Lealiifano
9. John Cooney

1. Kyle McCall
2. Rob Herring (captain)
3. Rodney Ah You
4. Alan O’Connor
5. Kieran Treadwell
6. Greg Jones
7. Nick Timoney
8. Jean Deysel

Replacements: Adam McBurney, Callum Black, Wiehahn Herbst, Robbie Diack, Matthew Rea, Paul Marshall, Johnny McPhillips, Andrew Trimble.

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