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Earls and Kleyn ruled out as Munster chase another miracle

Keith Earls and Jean Kleyn are both unavailable for Sunday’s clash with Ospreys.

Keith Earls has been ruled out with a knee injury.
Keith Earls has been ruled out with a knee injury.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

ANDY FARRELL WILL be hoping knee news is good news.

While Farrell will be sympathetic to his Munster counterpart, Johann van Graan, in relation to Keith Earls’ enforced absence from the Munster team for Sunday’s clash against Ospreys (K.O. 1pm, BT Sport), the Ireland head coach also has one eye on the Scotland game.

Munster have officially said Earls’ absence is due to a “minor knee injury” yet it’s unclear if this is linked to the knee trouble that the winger experienced in the World Cup.

In any case, he is absent for Sunday’s game with Calvin Nash coming in to make his Champions Cup debut. In addition, Fineen Wycherley makes his first Champions Cup start as he returns from injury to make his 14th appearance of the season.

For Dave Kilcoyne, Sunday will be his 50th Champions Cup appearance. Billy Holland, meanwhile, will play his 225th game of his Munster career, moving to fourth on the province’s all-time appearance list.

Academy duo Jack O’Sullivan and Ben Healy are included among the replacements and will make their Champions Cup debuts if brought on. 

The team comprises Mike Haley, Andrew Conway and Nash in the back three, Rory Scannell and Chris Farrell in the centre, Conor Murray and JJ Hanrahan in the half-backs.

Up front, Kilcoyne is joined by Niall Scannell and Stephen Archer in the front row; Jean Kleyn’s neck injury has resulted in Wycherley getting his chance, Holland his partner in the second row. 

Peter O’Mahony, Jack O’Donoghue and CJ Stander comprise the back row. Shane Daly is another player to miss out with a thumb injury.  To make the knock-out stages, Munster need a win and hope results elsewhere go their way.

MUNSTER

15. Mike Haley

14. Andrew Conway

13. Chris Farrell

12. Rory Scannell

11. Calvin Nash

10. JJ Hanrahan

9. Conor Murray

1. Dave Kilcoyne

2. Niall Scannell

3. Stephen Archer

4. Fineen Wycherley

5. Billy Holland

6. Peter O’Mahony (c)

7. Jack O’Donoghue

8. CJ Stander

Replacements: 16. Kevin O’Byrne, 17. Jeremy Loughman, 18. John Ryan, 19. Arno Botha, 20. Jack O’Sullivan, 21. Craig Casey, 22. Ben Healy, 23. Dan Goggin,

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