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Dublin: 1°C Sunday 7 March 2021

Casey handed first Pro14 start as Stander captains much-changed Munster for trip to Connacht

Van Graan has made a total of 10 changes to the team that lost to Saracens.

CJ Stander will captain Munster in Galway.
CJ Stander will captain Munster in Galway.

JOHANN VAN GRAAN has opted for a mix of youth and experience in his Munster team to face Connacht at the Sportsground on Saturday (KO 5.15pm, TG4).

With Munster expected to heavily rotate their team throughout the inter-provincial derbies, Van Graan has rested the bulk of his regular starters following last week’s Heineken Champions Cup defeat at Saracens, making a total of 10 changes to his starting XV.

Scrum-half Craig Casey, 20, partners out-half JJ Hanrahan in the half-backs as he makes his first start in the Guinness Pro14. Liam Coombes and Calvin Nash are named on the wings, with Shane Daly completing the back three at full-back, while Chris Farrell and Dan Goggin start in midfield.

craig-casey Craig Casey earns a first start in the Pro14. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

In the pack, CJ Stander captains the side from number eight, with Chris Cloete and Gavin Coombes, starting alongside cousin Liam for the first time, completing the backrow.

Billy Holland and Jean Kleyn line out in the second row, while Stephen Archer, Kevin O’Byrne and Dave Kilcoyne, who comes back into the team having recovered from injury, pack down in the front row.

Munster currently sit top of Conference B in the Pro14 with five wins seven, one point (25) clear of Connacht.

Munster (v Connacht):

15. Shane Daly
14. Calvin Nash
13. Chris Farrell
12. Dan Goggin
11. Liam Coombes
10. JJ Hanrahan
9. Craig Casey
1. Dave Kilcoyne
2. Kevin O’Byrne
3. Stephen Archer
4. Jean Kleyn
5. Billy Holland
6. Gavin Coombes
7. Chris Cloete
8. CJ Stander (captain)


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16. Diarmuid Barron
17. Jeremy Loughman
18. Keynan Knox
19. Fineen Wycherley
20. Jack O’Donoghue
21. Neil Cronin
22. Ben Healy
23. Sammy Arnold


Bernard Jackman joined Murray Kinsella and Sean Farrell in studio to chat about the remarkable John Cooney and the Ireland captaincy. 

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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