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Dublin: 19°C Sunday 13 June 2021
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European debut for Coombes as Munster welcome back big guns for 'Quins clash

Peter O’Mahony continues at 7 while Conor Murray is back to partner JJ Hanrahan.

Image: Craig Watson/INPHO

PETER O’MAHONY RETURNS to captain Munster for Sunday’s Champions Cup opener against Harlequins in Thomond Park (kick-off 17.30, BT Sport).

The Corkman will continue as an openside flanker after his impressive turn in the role as Ireland defeated Scotland last weekend.

CJ Stander joins O’Mahony in the back row in his familiar number 8 shirt, while the southern province’s breakout talent of the season Gavin Coombes will make his European debut as blindside.

Keith Earls spent the last weeks of his injury recovery in Ireland camp ahead of last month’s Autumn Nations Cup. So he is now fit to make his first Munster appearance of the season.

Andrew Conway and Mike Haley complete the back three outside a powerful midfield of Chris Farrell and Damian De Allende – who is also on his Champions Cup debut.

Tadhg Beirne joines Jean Kleyn in the second row, while Josh and Fineen Wycherley are among the bright homegrown prospects on Munster’s bench alongside Craig Casey and Ben Healy.

Munster (v Harlequins):

15. Mike Haley
14. Andrew Conway
13. Chris Farrell
12. Damian de Allende
11. Keith Earls
10. JJ Hanrahan
9 Conor Murray

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1. James Cronin
2. Kevin O’Byrne
3. Stephen Archer
4. Jean Kleyn
5. Tadhg Beirne
6. Gavin Coombes
7. Peter O’Mahony Capt
8. CJ Stander.

Replacements:

16. Rhys Marshall
17. Josh Wycherley
18. John Ryan
19. Fineen Wycherley
20. Jack O’Donoghue
21. Craig Casey
22. Ben Healy
23 Rory Scannell

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Sean Farrell

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