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Earls passed fit for Munster as Leicester make three changes for Welford Road revenge mission

Despite carrying a groin injury this week, the Ireland wing has been selected to start at Welford Road.

Rassie Erasmus Munster Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

MUNSTER WILL START with an unchanged side tomorrow when they aim to secure another European Champions Cup win against Leicester Tigers [KO 3.15pm, BT Sport 2].

Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus has kept faith with the side that began last weekend’s 38-0 triumph over the Aviva Premiership outfit at Thomond Park, which means that Keith Earls has been passed fit despite being troubled by a groin injury this week.

The only change to Munster’s matchday squad is among the replacements, where prop James Cronin – who scored two tries on his return from injury for the Munster ‘A’ team last week — comes in for Thomas du Toit.

Victory tomorrow for Munster will see them become the first team to record consecutive European wins against Leicester since the back-to-back fixtures were introduced in 1999. The Tigers have lost just once at Welford Road — against Ulster in the 2014/15 season — in their last 33 home outings in European rugby’s premier competition.

Keith Earls Keith Earls on the attack for Munster in last weekend's win against Leciester at Thomond Park. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

There are three changes to the Leicester side from Saturday’s game in Limerick, with an injury to out-half Freddie Burns forcing a reshuffle in the backline.

Owen Williams moves from centre to the number 10 shirt, so Jack Roberts — who made his European debut last weekend as a replacement — is drafted into the home side’s midfield.

South African international Pat Cilliers starts at tighthead prop at the expense of Greg Bateman, while Luke Hamilton comes into the back row to replace Mike Fitzgerald.

Munster: 

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

1. Dave Kilcoyne
2. Niall Scannell
3. John Ryan
4. Donnacha Ryan
5. Billy Holland
6. Peter O’Mahony (captain)
7. Tommy O’Donnell
8. CJ Stander

Replacements:

16. Rhys Marshall
17. James Cronin
18. Stephen Archer
19. Jean Kleyn
20. Jack O’Donoghue
21. Duncan Williams
22. Ian Keatley
23. Andrew Conway

Leicester Tigers:

15. George Worth
14. Peter Betham
13. Jack Roberts
12. Manu Tuilagi
11. Adam Thompstone
10. Owen Williams
9. Ben Youngs

1. Ellis Genge
2. Tom Youngs (captain)
3. Pat Cilliers
4. Ed Slater
5. Graham Kitchener
6. Luke Hamilton
7. Brendon O’Connor
8. Lachlan McCaffrey

Replacements:

16. Harry Thacker
17. Logovi’i Mulipola
18. Greg Bateman
19. Mike Fitzgerald
20. Mike Williams
21. Will Evans
22. Sam Harrison
23. Tom Brady

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