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Ryan Byrne/INPHO Gavin Coombes and Niall Scannell start for the visitors.
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Munster make five changes and Edinburgh welcome back big guns for Friday clash
Graham Rowntree has reshuffled his front row, while Gavin Coombes and Simon Zebo start for the key visit to the Scottish capital.

MUNSTER HAVE MADE five personnel changes and one positional switch to the side which beat Connacht for Friday night’s trip to Edinburgh (7:35pm, TG4/Premier Sports 1).

Shane Daly moves to fullback in place of the injured Mike Haley, with Simon Zebo starting on the left wing.

There are four changes in Graham Rowntree’s pack: Gavin Coombes comes in at eight for Alex Kendellen, while it’s all change in the front row. John Ryan will become the 13th player to reach 200 Munster appearances, while Jeremy Loughman and Niall Scannell also come in to start. Diarmuid Barron, Josh Wycherley, and Roman Salanoa will offer reinforcement from the bench.

simon-zebo Laszlo Geczo / INPHO Simon Zebo returns for Munster in Edinburgh. Laszlo Geczo / INPHO / INPHO

Rory Scannell and Antoine Frisch continue their midfield partnership, while half-backs Craig Casey and Joey Carbery are also unchanged.

Captain Peter O’Mahony and John Hodnett join Coombes in the back row.

Hosts Edinburgh, meanwhile, have welcomed back their Scottish-international contingent for Friday’s crucial encounter between the fifth- and eighth-placed teams in the URC.

The capital club’s biggest crowd of season will see the return of Pierre Schoeman at loosehead, Grant Gilchrist at lock, Jamie Ritchie and Viliame Mata in the back row, Blair Kinghorn at out-half, Mark Bennett at outside centre, and Duhan van der Merwe and Darcy Graham on each wing.

Mike Blair makes four further changes to his side that faced Benetton in Round 8 as academy hooker Paddy Harrison, tighthead Luan de Bruin, scrum-half Ben Vellacott, and inside centre Chris Dean (centre) all start at DAM Health Stadium.

Wes Goosen moves to fullback with Henry Immelman missing out through injury, while hooker Tom Cruse will hope to prove Munster’s mission an impossible one when he debuts off the bench.

It will be an emotional occasion in Edinburgh with the club calling on its fans to help pay tribute to Scottish rugby great Doddie Weir, who last weekend passed away following a battle with motor neurone disease (MND). Supporters have been encouraged to wear tartan to the fixture, which will be preceded by a moment’s applause in Weir’s honour.

doddie-weir-file-photo PA Scottish rugby legend Doddie Weir. PA

“First and foremost, this week has been really tough for all connected to Scottish rugby,” said Edinburgh boss Mike Blair.

“Doddie was such a huge figure and the enormity of what he managed to achieve to raise both awareness and money in the fight against MND is unmeasurable – the thoughts of all of us at Edinburgh Rugby go out to his family, friends and former teammates.

As a squad, we’ve spoken a lot about Doddie this week and what he stood for. It’s brilliant we’re able to pay tribute to a real icon of Scottish rugby tomorrow night and it will be an emotional moment as we celebrate his life pre-match.

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“On the match, we’re delighted to welcome back a number of our internationalists for what is a really tough match-up, with one of the league’s most competitive sides.

“Munster are a quality outfit but we’re up for the challenge and excited to be back at DAM Health Stadium in front of our home support, who will no doubt play their part in creating an electric atmosphere.”

Munster

  • 15. Shane Daly
  • 14. Calvin Nash
  • 13. Antoine Frisch
  • 12. Rory Scannell
  • 11. Simon Zebo
  • 10. Joey Carbery
  • 9. Craig Casey
  • 1. Jeremy Loughman
  • 2. Niall Scannell
  • 3. John Ryan
  • 4 Jean Kleyn
  • 5. Tadhg Beirne
  • 6. Peter O’Mahony (Captain)
  • 7. John Hodnett
  • 8. Gavin Coombes

Replacements:

  • 16. Diarmuid Barron
  • 17. Josh Wycherley
  • 18. Roman Salanoa
  • 19. Jack O’Donoghue
  • 20. Alex Kendellen
  • 21. Paddy Patterson
  • 22. Jack Crowley
  • 23. Patrick Campbell

Edinburgh

  • 15. Wes Goosen
  • 14. Darcy Graham
  • 13. Mark Bennett
  • 12. Chris Dean
  • 11. Duhan van der Merwe
  • 10. Blair Kinghorn
  • 9. Ben Vellacott
  • 1. Pierre Schoeman
  • 2. Patrick Harrison
  • 3. Luan de Bruin
  • 4. Jamie Hodgson
  • 5. Grant Gilchrist (Co-captain)
  • 6. Jamie Ritchie (Co-captain)
  • 7. Luke Crosbie
  • 8. Viliame Mata

Replacements:

  • 16. Tom Cruse
  • 17. Boan Venter
  • 18. WP Nel
  • 19. Marshall Sykes
  • 20. Nick Haining
  • 21. Charlie Shiel
  • 22. Jaco van der Walt
  • 23. James Lang

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