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Dublin: 8°C Thursday 25 February 2021

Earls ruled out in major blow for Munster as Bleyendaal starts at 10

The Ireland international failed to come through training this week.

MUNSTER HAVE BEEN dealt a major blow with Keith Earls ruled out of their Heineken Champions Cup semi-final clash with Saracens in Coventry tomorrow [KO 3pm, BT Sport].

Keith Earls celebrates scoring their second try with Peter O'Mahony Keith Earls will miss out with a thigh injury. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Earls failed to come through training this week after suffering a thigh injury in the warm-up before their Pro14 clash with Cardiff Blues two weekends ago.

The absence of Ireland international Earls, who scored two tries in Munster’s quarter-final win over Edinburgh, sees Darren Sweetnam named on the wing for the clash at the Ricoh Arena. 

As expected, Joey Carbery misses out with a hamstring injury, meaning that Tyler Bleyendaal starts at out-half after impressive off the bench in the quarter-final at Murrayfield.

Jean Kleyn has come through a leg injury to take his place in the second row. Jack O’Donoghue, who was forced off in the first half of the win over Edinburgh with a head injury, is back at openside flanker.

Mike Haley is at fullback in a back three completed by Sweetnam and Andrew Conway, while Chris Farrell and Rory Scannell make up the midfield pairing. Bleyendaal and Conor Murray form the halfback partnership.

A front row of Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell and John Ryan brings real form, while Kleyn and Tadhg Beirne are in the second row.

O’Donoghue is at seven in a back row that also includes captain Peter O’Mahony and CJ Stander, while the likes of Alby Mathewson, Arno Botha, and Dan Goggin will look to provide impact off the bench.


15. Mike Haley
14. Andrew Conway
13. Chris Farrell
12. Rory Scannell
11. Darren Sweetnam
10. Tyler Bleyendaal
9. Conor Murray

1. Dave Kilcoyne
2. Niall Scannell
3. John Ryan
4. Jean Kleyn
5. Tadhg Beirne
6. Peter O’Mahony (captain)
7. Jack O’Donoghue
8. CJ Stander


16. Rhys Marshall
17. Jeremy Loughman
18. Stephen Archer
19. Billy Holland
20. Arno Botha
21. Alby Mathewson
22. JJ Hanrahan
23. Dan Goggin

Referee: Jerome Garces [FFR]. 

Gavan Casey and Murray Kinsella are joined by Andy Dunne to preview the Champions Cup semi-finals and all the week’s news on the latest episode of The42 Rugby Weekly:

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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