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Nine changes for Munster while Daly captains Connacht for first time

The two teams meet in Thomond Park on Friday.

Ben Healy and Damian de Allende both start for Munster.
Ben Healy and Damian de Allende both start for Munster.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

MUNSTER HAVE MADE nine changes to the team that hammered Ulster 38-10 last weekend for tomorrow’s Rainbow Cup meeting with Connacht at Thomond Park [KO 6pm, eir Sport].

The visitors have also rung the changes on the back of their 29-point defeat to Leinster, with Tom Daly handed the Connacht captaincy for the first time.

Munster fullback Matt Gallagher, who battled a long-term shoulder injury this season, will make his first start since November, with Andrew Conway and the in-form Shane Daly both retained on the wings.

Damian de Allende comes back into the Munster midfield to partner Dan Goggin, while Johann van Graan opts for an all-new half-back pairing in Ben Healy and Craig Casey.

John Ryan is the only survivor in the front row as James Cronin and Rhys Marshall come back into the team, with Jean Kleyn and Billy Holland starting in the second row.

CJ Stander is the sole new face in the back row, and lines out alongside Gavin Coombes and captain Peter O’Mahony.

A strong Munster bench includes Conor Murray and Tadhg Beirne, who were both named in Warren Gatland’s 37-man Lions squad last week, as well as Joey Carbery and Keith Earls.

tom-daly-before-the-game Tom Daly captains Connacht for the first time. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Connacht captain Daly continues alongside Sean O’Brien in midfield, with ex-Munster man Alex Wootton and Sammy Arnold starting on the wings.

John Porch keeps the 15 shirt, while scrum-half Kieran Marmion comes in to partner Conor Fitzgerald in the half-backs. 

Andy Friend has made wholesale changes in the front row as Paddy McAllister, Shane Delahunt and Dominic Robertson-McCoy all start. 

Ultan Dillane is named alongside Niall Murray in the second row, while Cian Prendergast, Abraham Papali’i and Conor Oliver line out in the back row.

Jack Carty and Sean Masterson both return to the Connacht bench.

Munster: 

15. Matt Gallagher
14. Andrew Conway
13. Dan Goggin
12. Damian de Allende
11. Shane Daly
10. Ben Healy
9. Craig Casey
1. James Cronin
2. Rhys Marshall
3. John Ryan
4. Jean Kleyn
5. Billy Holland
6. Gavin Coombes
7. Peter O’Mahony (captain)
8. CJ Stander.

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Replacements:
16. Niall Scannell
17. Dave Kilcoyne
18. Stephen Archer
19. Tadhg Beirne
20. Jack O’Donoghue
21. Conor Murray
22. Joey Carbery
23. Keith Earls

Connacht:

15. John Porch 
14. Sammy Arnold
13. Sean O’Brien 
12. Tom Daly (captain)
11. Alex Wootton
10. Conor Fitzgerald
9. Kieran Marmion 
1. Paddy McAllister
2. Shane Delahunt 
3. Dominic Robertson-McCoy 
4. Niall Murray 
5. Ultan Dillane
6. Cian Prendergast
7. Conor Oliver 
8. Abraham Papali’i

Replacements:
16. Dave Heffernan 
17. Denis Buckley 
18. Finlay Bealham 
19. Eoghan Masterson
20. Sean Masterson 
21. Caolin Blade 
22. Jack Carty 
23. Peter Sullivan 

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About the author:

Ciarán Kennedy

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