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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 29 January, 2020

Munster keep faith with Keatley, injury forces Leicester to name Freddie Burns at 10

The out-half was the target of sarcastic cheering when replaced in the home loss to the Tigers.

MUNSTER HEAD COACH Anthony Foley has retained Ian Keatley at out-half in a side showing three changes for Sunday’s return trip to face Leicester Tigers at Welford Road (BT Sport, 17.15).

Ian Keatley Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Keatley was the target of derision from a section of the Thomond Park crowd when he was replaced late on during the 19 – 31 loss to Tigers. Foley admitted his ‘disappointment’ immediately after the game and Keatley’s team-mates have rallied to his side in the week since.

Keatley will aim to light the fuse on an unchanged back-line that features Andrew Conway, Keith Earls and Simon Zebo outside Francis Saili.

The three changes come in Munster’s tight five, where Mike Sherry starts at hooker in place of Niall Scannell, John Ryan packs down at tighthead with BJ Botha seeing a specialist after his latest concussion, while Mark Chisholm edges out Dave Foley at lock.

Conor Murray and Ian Keatley Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Leicester have made an enforced switch at out-half after Owen Williams jarred his knee in Limerick. Freddie Burns will take the reins in his place with Peter Betham returning to outside centre, pushing Matt Smith in a place to number 12.

Lions back row Tom Croft also returns to the squad as a replacement.

Leicester Tigers

15 Telusa Veainu
14 Adam Thompstone
13 Peter Betham
12 Matt Smith
11 Vereniki Goneva
10 Freddie Burns
9 Ben Youngs

1 Marcos Ayerza
2 Tom Youngs
3 Dan Cole
4 Mike Fitzgerald
5 Graham Kitchener
6 Ed Slater (Capt.)
7 Brendon O’Connor
8 Lachlan McCaffrey


16 Harry Thacker
17 Matias Aguero
18 Fraser Balmain
19 Dom Barrow
20 Tom Croft
21 Sam Harrison
22 Tommy Bell
23 Seremaia Bai


15. Andrew Conway
14. Keith Earls
13. Francis Saili
12. Denis Hurley
11. Simon Zebo
10. Ian Keatley
9. Conor Murray

1. James Cronin
2. Mike Sherry
3. John Ryan
4. Mark Chisholm
5. Donnacha Ryan
6. Robin Copeland
7. Dave O’Callaghan
8. CJ Stander (Capt.)


16. Niall Scannell
17. Dave Kilcoyne
18. Mario Sagario
19. Dave Foley
20. Jack O’Donoghue
21. Tomas O’Leary
22. Rory Scannell
23. Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino.

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Munster’s game plan won’t change as Murray looks to ease fans’ frustration

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About the author:

Sean Farrell

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