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Four changes to Munster team for Gloucester's trip to Thomond

Gloucester’s Gerbrandt Grobler has been named among the replacements for the clash with his former team.

MUNSTER HEAD COACH Johann van Graan has named his starting line-up for tomorrow afternoon’s Heineken Champions Cup meeting with Gloucester at Thomond Park [KO 1pm, Virgin Media 1 and BT Sport 2].

Van Graan has made four changes in personnel — all of them in the pack — to the side that earned a draw away to Exeter Chiefs in last weekend’s Pool 2 opener.

Johann van Graan 15/10/2018 Munster head coach Johann van Graan. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

An entirely new front row will start the game, as James Cronin, Rhys Marshall and John Ryan come in for Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell and Stephen Archer. According to the province, Scannell picked up a knock in training this week.

Tommy O’Donnell is drafted into the back row, replacing Chris Cloete. The South African, who signed a contract extension yesterday, is not included in the matchday squad.

Keith Earls remains sidelined, having sustained a hamstring injury prior to the game against Exeter. After picking up a knee injury in the recent defeat to Leinster, scrum-half Alby Mathewson has been deemed fit enough for a place on the bench.

There are two changes to the Gloucester team from last Sunday’s win against Castres, one of which sees former Munster forward Gerbrandt Grobler drop down to the bench for his return to Thomond Park.

Grobler is replaced in the second row by skipper Ed Slater. The other change sees Matt Banahan replace Charlie Sharples on the wing.

Munster:

15. Mike Haley
14. Andrew Conway
13. Dan Goggin
12. Rory Scannell
11. Darren Sweetnam
10. Joey Carbery
9. Duncan Williams

1. James Cronin
2. Rhys Marshall
3. John Ryan
4. Jean Kleyn
5. Tadhg Beirne
6. Peter O’Mahony (captain)
7. Tommy O’Donnell
8. CJ Stander

Replacements:

16. Kevin O’Byrne
17. Dave Kilcoyne
18. Stephen Archer
19. Billy Holland
20. Arno Botha
21. Alby Mathewson
22. JJ Hanrahan
23. Sammy Arnold

Gloucester:

15. Jason Woodward
14. Matt Banahan
13. Billy Twelvetrees
12. Mark Atkinson
11. Tom Marshall
10. Danny Cipriani
9. Callum Braley

1. Josh Hohneck
2. Franco Marais
3. Fraser Balmain
4. Tom Savage
5. Ed Slater (captain)
6. Freddie Clarke
7. Jake Polledri
8. Ben Morgan

Replacements:

16. Henry Walker
17. Val Rapava Ruskin
18. Ciaran Knight
19. Gerbrandt Grobler
20. Gareth Evans
21. Ben Vellacott
22. Owen Williams
23. Tom Hudson

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Source: Heineken Rugby Weekly on The42/SoundCloud

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Paul Dollery

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