O'Donnell to captain Munster in final pre-season friendly against Connacht

Johann van Graan has named a strong team for Saturday’s game in Galway.

TOMMY O’DONNELL WILL captain Munster in tomorrow’s final pre-season friendly against Connacht in Galway, as Johann van Graan’s side fine-tune their preparations a week out from the new campaign.

O’Donnell, who was part of Ireland’s extended World Cup squad but didn’t make the final 31 for Japan, skippers Munster for their visit to the Sportsground [KO 3pm], with seven academy players named in an extended squad. 

munsters-tommy-odonnell O'Donnell in action against London Irish last week. Source: Inpho

Alex McHenry and Keynan Knox both keep their starting places in the starting XV from last weekend’s win over London Irish, while Jack O’Sullivan, Jack Stafford, Liam Coombes, Jonathan Wren and Alan Tynan are among the replacements.

Ireland U20 star Wren and Tynan are in line to make their senior debuts off the bench.

Newly-capped Ireland international Mike Haley starts at fullback with Darren Sweetnam and Shane Daly on either flank, while Rory Scannell partners McHenry in midfield.

Nick McCarthy will make his first start for Munster at scrum-half as he pairs with JJ Hanrahan in the half-backs.

Up front, James Cronin continues his comeback from injury with a start alongside Kevin O’Byrne and Knox, and Darren O’Shea and Fineen Wycherley are in the second row.

Arno Botha, O’Donnell and Jack O’Donoghue complete the side at six, seven and eight.

Van Graan’s side get their Pro14 season underway against Dragons at Thomond Park next Saturday. 


15. Mike Haley
14. Darren Sweetnam
13. Alex McHenry
12. Rory Scannell
11. Shane Daly
10. JJ Hanrahan
9. Nick McCarthy

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1. James Cronin
2. Kevin O’Byrne
3. Keynan Knox
4. Darren O’Shea
5. Fineen Wycherley
6. Arno Botha
7. Tommy O’Donnell (captain)
8. Jack O’Donoghue.

Replacements from: Rhys Marshall, Liam O’Connor, Jeremy Loughman, Stephen Archer, Billy Holland, Seán O’Connor, Gavin Coombes, Paddy Butler, Conor Oliver, Jack O’Sullivan, Alby Mathewson, Neil Cronin, Jack Stafford, Tyler Bleyendaal, Liam Coombes, Jonathan Wren, Alan Tynan.

Gavan Casey is joined by Andy Dunne and, from Japan, Murray Kinsella ahead of Ireland’s Rugby World Cup opener against Scotland.

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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Ryan Bailey

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