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Dublin: 2°C Thursday 21 January 2021
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Holland starts among returning internationals as Munster take aim at Zebre and play-off spot

Simon Zebo, Keith Earls, Donnacha Ryan and Tommy O’Donnell start after returning from Ireland duty.

Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

MUNSTER HEAD COACH Anthony Foley has handed a starting role to Johnny Holland that sees the out-half partner Tomás O’Leary for the first time.

The half-backs will have Ireland internationals Keith Earls and Simon Zebo to feed, returning to the setup at centre and fullback respectively.

Up front, Zebre will have to face a front row of Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell and Stephen Archer with Donnacha Ryan and Billy Holland adding their weight from the second row and Tommy O’Donnell adding Test experience from the openside.

Munster will start the weekend (KO 7pm at Thomond Park) four points behind fourth-placed Ulster who meet reigning champions Glasgow. So the southern province could propel themselves into the play-off places with a bonus point win and they will have CJ Stander and Conor Murray among the replacements to help them turn the screw in the second half.

Zebre will welcome nine internationals of their own to the starting line-up, including out-half Kelly Haimona.

Munster

15. Simon Zebo
14. Darren Sweetnam
13. Keith Earls
12. Rory Scannell
11. Ronan O’Mahony
10. Johnny Holland
9. Tomás O’Leary

1. Dave Kilcoyne
2. Niall Scannell
3. Stephen Archer
4. Donnacha Ryan
5. Billy Holland (Capt)
6. Dave O’Callaghan
7. Tommy O’Donnell
8. Jack O’Donoghue

Replacements:

16. Mike Sherry
17. James Cronin
18. Mario Sagario
19. Dave Foley
20. CJ Stander
21. Conor Murray
22. Ian Keatley
23. David Johnston

Zebre

15 Kayle Van Zyl
14 Leonardo Sarto
13 Giulio Bisegni
12 Tommaso Boni
11 Giulio Toniolatti
10 Kelly Haimona
9 Guglielmo Palazzani

1 Guillermo Roan
2 Oliviero Fabiani
3 Dario Chistolini
4 Quintin Geldenhuys (Capt)
5 Valerio Bernabò
6 Jean Cook
7 Federico Ruzza
8 Johan Meyer

Replacements :

16 Bruno Postiglioni
17 Andrea De Marchi
18 Pietro Ceccarelli
19 Gideon Koegelenberg
20 Emiliano Caffini*
21 Luke Burgess
22 Ulrich Beyers
23 Matteo Pratichetti

Referee: Dudley Phillips (IRFU)

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About the author:

Sean Farrell

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