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All change for Munster as Van Graan names team to play Benetton

The province have made eight changes to the side that lost to the Lions in South Africa last weekend.

Gavin Coombes and Craig Casey both return for Munster.
Gavin Coombes and Craig Casey both return for Munster.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

MUNSTER HEAD COACH Johann van Graan has rung the changes for Friday’s United Rugby Championship meeting with Benetton at Musgrave Park [KO 7.35pm, TG4, Premier Sports 2, URC TV]. 

Van Graan has made eight changes to the team that lost to the Lions in Johannesburg last weekend, as Musgrave Park prepares to host a Munster senior game for the first time since the pandemic began two years ago.

Ireland internationals Craig Casey and Gavin Coombes both come straight back into the starting team having returned from Six Nations camp, while Matt Gallagher, Rory Scannell, Simon Zebo, Ben Healy, Diarmuid Barron and Stephen Archer also come into the side.

Gallagher starts at fullback with Shane Daly and Zebo named on the wings.

Scannell partners de Allende in midfield as the Springbok international switches to outside centre, while Casey lines out with Healy in the half-backs.

Josh Wycherly contines at loosehead, with Barron and Archer completing the front row, while Jean Kleyn and Fineen Wycherley are named together in the second row for the seventh successive game.

Jack O’Donoghue captains the side in the number six shirt, and is joined by John Hodnett and Coombes in the back row.

On the bench, Leinster-bound Jason Jenkins is set to make his second Munster appearance after recovering from an abdomen injury.  

Munster (v Benetton) 

15. Matt Gallagher

14. Shane Daly

13. Damian de Allende

12. Rory Scannell

11. Simon Zebo

10. Ben Healy

9. Craig Casey

1. Josh Wycherley

2. Diarmuid Barron

3. Stephen Archer

4. Jean Kleyn

5. Fineen Wycherley

6. Jack O’Donoghue (captain)

7. John Hodnett

8. Gavin Coombes

Replacements:

16. Scott Buckley

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17. Jeremy Loughman

18. Keynan Knox

19. Jason Jenkins

20. Jack O’Sullivan

21. Neil Cronin

22. Jake Flannery

23. Chris Farrell 

Benetton: Andries Coetzee, Ratuva Tavuyara, Joaquin Riera, Tommaso Menoncello, Rhyno Smith, Tomas Albornoz, Dewaldt Duvenage (CAPT), Ivan Nemer, Tomas Baravalle, Nahuel Tetaz, Irnè Herbst, Carl Wegner, Sebastian Negri, Manuel Zuliani, Toa Halafihi.

ReplacementsMatteo Drudi, Matteo Drudi, Simone Ferrari, Niccolò Cannone, Matteo Meggiato, Callum Braley, Giacomo Da Re, Tommaso Benvenuti

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About the author:

Ciarán Kennedy

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