O'Mahony, Carbery and Zebo all fit to start Munster's European showdown with Exeter

Johann van Graan makes five changes to the side which lost 13-8 in the first leg last weekend.

Joey Carbery returns to start at out-half for Munster.
Joey Carbery returns to start at out-half for Munster.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

JOHANN VAN GRAAN has been handed a timely fitness boost as Munster bid to overturn a five-point deficit in Saturday’s Heineken Champions Cup last 16 clash with Exeter Chiefs.

Van Graan makes five changes to the side which lost 13-8 in the first leg last weekend with captain Peter O’Mahony, Joey Carbery and Simon Zebo all returning from injury.

All three missed the trip to Sandy Park – O’Mahony with a hamstring injury and Carbery with a leg/knee problem, while Zebo was a late withdrawal through illness.

But they now come back into the starting XV for the Thomond Park showdown, as do Josh Wycherley and John Ryan in the front row.

Jeremy Loughman, Stephen Archer and Ben Healy all drop to the bench, as does Alex Kendellan who is available having come through the return to play protocols following his head injury assessment.

Shane Daly, who scored Munster’s vital try last weekend after his late promotion from travelling reserve, misses out on the matchday 23.

Kick-off at Thomond Park is at 3pm.

Meanwhile, England number eight Sam Simmonds has been ruled out of Exeter’s Heineken Champions Cup clash against Munster on Saturday.

The Chiefs said that Simmonds is sidelined because of a hip injury and misses the round of 16 second-leg encounter in Limerick.

Jannes Kirsten comes into the back-row following last weekend’s 13-8 first-leg victory, with flanker Jacques Vermeulen moving to number eight.


15. Mike Haley
14. Keith Earls
13. Chris Farrell
12. Damian de Allende
11. Simon Zebo
10. Joey Carbery
9. Conor Murray

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1. Josh Wycherley
2. Niall Scannell
3. John Ryan
4. Jean Kleyn
5. Fineen Wycherley
6. Peter O’Mahony (capt)
7. John Hodnett
8. Jack O’Donoghue


16. Diarmuid Barron
17. Jeremy Loughman
18. Stephen Archer
19. Jason Jenkins
20. Thomas Ahern
21. Craig Casey
22. Ben Healy
23. Alex Kendellen

In the final episode of the series, The Front Row – The42’s new rugby podcast in partnership with Guinness – welcomes comedian Killian Sundermann in to studio. The online funnyman fills us in on his schools rugby days, gaining recognition during the pandemic, making his stand-up debut and travelling around Europe in a van. Click here to subscribe or listen below:

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