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Peter O'Mahony and Bundee Aki.
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Munster and Connacht welcome back Ireland stars for URC derby
The two sides meet at Thomond Park tomorrow night.

MUNSTER AND CONNACHT have welcomed back their Ireland internationals for Saturday’s massive URC interpro derby at Thomond Park [KO 7.35pm, TG4/Premier Sports 1/URC TV].

Peter O’Mahony captains Munster with Tadhg Beirne, Joey Carbery, Craig Casey and Calvin Nash all coming back into the starting team following their involvement with Ireland during the Autumn Nations Series.

Meanwhile Dave Heffernan, Finlay Bealham, Gavin Thornbury, Cian Prendergast, Caolin Blade and Bundee Aki are all named in the Connacht team, although Mack Hansen missed out through injury.

Munster head coach Graham Rowntree has made seven changes to the side that beat a South Africa XV at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on 10 November.

Mike Haley starts at fullback with Nash and Shane Daly on the wings.

Rory Scannell is named at center alongside Antoine Frisch, who is handed a first URC start, while Ireland duo Casey and Carbery line-up in the half-backs. 

Josh Wycherley, Diarmuid Barron and Roman Salanoa start in the front row with Jean Kleyn and Beirne in the second row.

O’Mahony captains the side from the back row, alongside John Hodnett and Alex Kendellen.

Ireland internationals Jeremy Loughman and Jack Crowley are both named on the Munster bench. 

A Connacht team looking to make it three URC wins in a row start with captain Jack Carty at out-half, with Blade at scrum-half, and Tom Farrell partnering Aki in the centre.

Alex Wootton and Byron Ralston start on the wings with John Porch at fullback.

Denis Buckley, Heffernan and Bealham are named in the front row, while Josh Murphy starts alongside Thornbury in the second row.

Prendergast is named at blindside flanker, with Conor Oliver at openside and Jarrad Butler completing the back row at number eight.

Connacht have gone for a 6:2 split on the bench, where there’s a notable return for Shane Delahunt, who is back in the squad following an eight-month injury layoff.


15. Mike Haley

14. Calvin Nash

13. Antoine Frisch

12. Rory Scannell

11. Shane Daly

10. Joey Carbery

9. Craig Casey

1. Josh Wycherley

2. Diarmuid Barron

3. Roman Salanoa

4. Jean Kleyn

5. Tadhg Beirne

6. Peter O’Mahony (captain)

7. John Hodnett

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8. Alex Kendellen


16. Niall Scannell

17. Jeremy Loughman

18. John Ryan

19. Edwin Edogbo

20. Jack O’Donoghue

21. Paddy Patterson

22. Jack Crowley

23. Gavin Coombes.


15. John Porch 

14. Byron Ralston

13. Tom Farrell

12. Bundee Aki 

11. Alex Wootton 

10. Jack Carty (captain)

9. Caolin Blade 

1. Denis Buckley 

2. Dave Heffernan

3. Finlay Bealham 

4. Josh Murphy 

5. Gavin Thornbury 

6. Cian Prendergast 

7. Conor Oliver 

8. Jarrad Butler


16. Shane Delahunt 

17. Peter Dooley 

18. Jack Aungier

19. Niall Murray 

20. Oisín Dowling 

21. Kieran Marmion 

22. Conor Fitzgerald 

23. Paul Boyle  

Referee: Gianluca Gnecchi [FIR]

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