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Dublin: 12°C Thursday 22 April 2021

Munster name Grobler in 'A' side to face Costello's Nottingham tomorrow

Conor Oliver joins the under-fire South African in the pack while Ulster A have also named their ‘A team’.

Image: James Crombie/INPHO

GERBRANDT GROBLER’S WEEK in the spotlight will end with a distinctly off-Broadway match away to Nottingham in the B and I Cup tomorrow (kick-off 19.45).

The South African’s 2015 positive test for drostanolone, and subsequent two-year ban,  was a hot topic put to Munster head coach Johann van Graan this week as he prepared for the Champions Cup trip to face Racing 92 and Grobler prepared to end a long stint sidelined with an ankle injury.

Van Graan expressed a willingness to forgive and forget his lock’s failed drug test, but looks set to stick with Billy Holland, Jean Kleyn and Darren O’Shea as second row options for Sunday’s Pool 4 match in Paris.

Holland has been following return to play protocols having missed his first match of the season last weekend, but looks set to celebrate his new two-year contract with a return to the fold against Racing 92. Steven Archer and Kevin O’Byrne also reaffirmed their commitment to the province yesterday with deals keeping them at Munster until 2020.

Against Nottingham, coached by former Munster skills coach Ian Costello, Grobler will make his return from injury alongside Fineen Wycherley, who along with wing Calvin Nash and Liam O’Connor is fresh from signing a development contract this week.

Conor Oliver will follow up his man-of-the-match winning comeback from injury against Connacht with a starting spot at openside.

In the back-line, James Hart and Bill Johnston will steer Peter Malone’s side from half-back while Dave Johnston captains the team from fullback. Ronan O’Mahony is among the replacements having completed a long rehab from a leg fracture sustained in April.

Peter Nelson Nelson in Pro14 action early this season. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Earlier tomorrow evening (kick-off 17.00), Ulster A will take on Cornish Pirates in the same competition at Shaw’s Bridge.

Peter Nelson is named to start at out-half with Johnny McPhillips added to the province’s Champions Cup squad earlier this week.

Aaron Cairns, primarily a scrum-half, lines up in the back three along with Rob Lyttle and fullback Jack Owens.

John Andrew captains the side from hooker with Pete Browne set to miss out on Ulster’s clash with La Rochelle after being named in the second row alongside Clive Ross.

Munster A (v Nottingham):

15. Dave Johnston (Capt)
14. Calvin Nash
13. Shane Daly
12. Dave McCarthy
11. Stephen Fitzgerald
10. Bill Johnston
9. James Hart

1. Jeremy Loughman
2. Mike Sherry
3. Brian Scott
4. Fineen Wycherley
5. Gerbrandt Grobler
6. Sean O’Connor
7. Conor Oliver
8. Gavin Coombes

Replacements: Duncan Casey, Ciaran Parker, Sean McCarthy, John Foley, John Poland, Conor Fitzgerald, Ronan O’Mahony.

Ulster A (v Cornish Pirates): 

15. Jack Owens
14. Rob Lyttle
13. Calllum Patterson
12. Rory Butler
11. Aaron Cairns
10. Peter Nelson
9. Jonny Stewart

1. Tommy O’Hagan
2. John Andrew (Capt)
3. Ross Kane
4. Peter Browne
5. Clive Ross
6. Caleb Montgomery
7. Matthew Agnew
8. Marcus Rea

Replacements: Zack McCall, Tom O’Toole, Eric O’Sullivan, John McCusker, David Shanahan, Chris Swash, Angus Kernohan.

Back from injury, brilliant Butler doesn’t want to miss a beat for Connacht

Tireless Van der Flier not resting on his laurels as he works to become the complete seven

About the author:

Sean Farrell

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