Thursday 2 February 2023 Dublin: 10°C
Ben Brady/INPHO Munster centre Antoine Frisch in pre-season action.
Frisch starts and three academy players included in Munster 23 to face South Africa
Short-term signing Kiran McDonald will also make his first start for the province as Munster make seven changes to the side that faced Ulster.

ANTOINE FRISCH WILL start at outside centre and Graham Rowntree has included three current academy players in Munster’s matchday squad to face South Africa ‘A’ in a landmark fixture at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Cork, on Thursday.

Over 41,000 people will flock to Leeside for what will be the highest-attended rugby game ever to take place in the southern province, and Rowntree has named as strong a Munster 23 lineup as possible with several of his frontline stars unavailable due to their national-team duties.

In all, there are seven changes to the already injury-depleted side which fell just short against Ulster at Thomond Park in the URC last Saturday week.

French-born midfielder Frisch makes his first start after recovering from a calf injury suffered during the Emerging Ireland tour of South Africa, while there is also a debut for Scotsman Kiran McDonald in the second row after he joined on a short-term deal last month.

McDonald is partnered at lock by academy star Edwin Edogbo, who retains his place from the Ulster defeat.

Blackrock man Simon Zebo will fulfil a dream of lining out at the Páirc when he starts on the left wing, while Josh Wycherley, Roman Salanoa, Gavin Coombes and Ben Healy are also drafted into the starting XV. Out-half Healy will be partnered at half-back by Paddy Patterson.

Jack O’Donoghue captains the side from a back row which includes Coombes and John Hodnett.

shane-daly-celebrates-after-scoring-a-try-with-edwin-edogbo-simon-zebo-and-mike-haley Dan Sheridan / INPHO Academy man Edwin Edogbo (L) starts again for the men in red. Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

Niall Scannell has completed return-to-play protocols and is included among the replacements. So too is marquee summer signing Malakai Fekitoa.

As well as Edogbo, lock/back-row hybrid Cian Hurley and outside back Patrick Campbell will represent Munster’s academy from the bench.

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Former Munster players Jason Jenkins and Thomas du Toit, meanwhile, were included in a South African starting XV which was named earlier in the week.


  • 15. Mike Haley
  • 14. Shane Daly
  • 13. Antoine Frisch
  • 12. Rory Scannell
  • 11. Simon Zebo
  • 10. Ben Healy
  • 9. Paddy Patterson
  • 1. Josh Wycherley
  • 2. Diarmuid Barron
  • 3. Roman Salanoa
  • 4. Edwin Edogbo
  • 5. Kiran McDonald
  • 6. Jack O’Donoghue (Captain)
  • 7. John Hodnett
  • 8. Gavin Coombes


  • 16. Niall Scannell
  • 17. Liam O’Connor
  • 18. Keynan Knox
  • 19. Cian Hurley
  • 20. Alex Kendellen
  • 21. Neil Cronin
  • 22. Patrick Campbell
  • 23. Malakai Fekitoa

South Africa ‘A’

  • 15. Aphelele Fassi
  • 14. Suleiman Hartzenberg
  • 13. Henco van Wyk
  • 12. Cornal Hendricks
  • 11. Leolin Zas
  • 10. Johan Goosen
  • 9. Herschel Jantjies
  • 1. Ntuthuko Mchunu
  • 2. Joseph Dweba
  • 3. Thomas du Toit (Captain)
  • 4. Jason Jenkins
  • 5. Ruan Nortje
  • 6. Phepsi Buthelezi
  • 7. Elrigh Louw
  • 8. Jean-Luc du Preez


  • 16. Andre-Hugo Venter
  • 17. Simphiwe Matanzima
  • 18. Sazi Sandi
  • 19. Dan du Preez
  • 20. Sikhumbuzo Notshe
  • 21. Grant Williams
  • 22. Sanele Nohamba
  • 23. Gianni Lombard

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