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Dublin: 12 °C Tuesday 26 March, 2019
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Stander captains Munster as JVG recalls his big guns for visit of Leinster

The southern province make 12 changes for Saturday’s heavyweight showdown at Thomond Park.

MUNSTER HAVE MADE their intentions clear, as Johann van Graan has recalled his frontline internationals for duty ahead of Saturday’s Guinness Pro14 showdown against Leinster at Thomond Park [KO 5.15pm, eir Sport/Premier Sport].

The Munster head coach makes 12 changes in personnel from last week’s defeat in Belfast, handing the likes of Andrew Conway, Keith Earls, Joey Carbery, Conor Murray, Tadhg Beirne and CJ Stander starts.

CJ Stander and Conor Murray Stander and Murray both start. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Peter O’Mahony is the only notable absentee from Munster’s matchday 23 for the round 12 inter-pro, and the captain’s armband is given to Stander in the flanker’s absence.  

Mike Haley, Fineen Wycherley and Jean Kleyn, who makes his 50th appearance for the province, are the only players retained by van Graan as Munster go in search of their first win over Leinster since St Stephen’s Day 2016.  

Haley continues at fullback and is joined in the back three by Conway and Earls, with Rory Scannell and Dan Goggin forming the midfield partnership. 

Murray and Carbery resume their exciting half-back pairing, as the latter comes up against his native province for the second time since his summer move south. 

In the pack, Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell and John Ryan pack down in the front row while Kleyn and Beirne are paired together in the engine room.

Wycherley keeps his place in the back row with Chris Cloete and Stander completing the starting XV.

Darren Sweetnam and Tyler Bleyendaal are named among the replacements for the sold-out clash at Thomond, as Munster bid to consolidate their position in second place in Conference A behind runaway leaders Glasgow Warriors. 

Munster: 

15. Mike Haley
14. Andrew Conway
13. Dan Goggin
12. Rory Scannell
11. Keith Earls
10. Joey Carbery
9. Conor Murray

1. Dave Kilcoyne
2. Niall Scannell
3. John Ryan
4. Jean Kleyn
5. Tadhg Beirne
6. Fineen Wycherley
7. Chris Cloete
8. CJ Stander (captain).

Replacements:

16. Kevin O’Byrne
17. Jeremy Loughman
18. Stephen Archer
19. Billy Holland
20. Arno Botha
21. Alby Mathewson
22. Tyler Bleyendaal
23. Darren Sweetnam. 

Murray Kinsella, Gavan Casey and Andy Dunne look back on a memorable year for Irish rugby.


Source: Heineken Rugby Weekly on The42/SoundCloud

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Ryan Bailey

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