CJ Stander with Johann van Graan. Morgan Treacy/INPHO
Team news

Retiring CJ Stander ruled out as Munster make seven changes for Zebre dead rubber

Departing duo Billy Holland and Nick McCarthy are named on the bench.

CJ STANDER HAS played his final game for Munster, the retiring Ireland international ruled out of tomorrow night’s Guinness Pro14 Rainbow Cup [KO 6pm, Irish time] clash against Zebre in Parma.

The number eight suffered burns in a fire pit accident last weekend alongside team-mates Damian de Allende, RG Snyman and Mike Haley.

All four miss out on the trip to Italy, while neither of Munster’s Lions, Conor Murray and Tadhg Beirne, are included for the fixture, which has been rendered a dead rubber after Benetton automatically qualified for next week’s Rainbow Cup final.

Peter O’Mahony returns to captain the side in one of seven changes. Skibbereen cousins Liam and Gavin Coombes start together for the third time with Matt Gallagher, Chris Farrell, Dave Kilcoyne, John Ryan and O’Mahony also back in the side after last week’s bonus point win over Cardiff Blues.

Departing duo Billy Holland and Nick McCarthy are named on the bench, set to make their final Munster appearances. It would come as Holland’s 247th outing for the southern province.

Talented Academy duo Thomas Ahern and Jake Flannery are also among the replacements, as is Roman Salanoa, who is returning from an ankle injury.

“We’re looking forward to our final game of the season,” head coach Johann van Graan said. “Ideally, we would love to still be in with a chance to play for a final but it’s not to be and while guys were disappointed, we still have a competitive game to play.

“No different to any opportunity we get, the lads will want to play for each other and put in a performance and finish the season out on a high.

“We’ve again mixed the side with a good balance of experienced and younger players so it’s another 80 minutes of rugby, and with some players competing for Irish selection also there are plenty of motivating factors.

“For CJ and Mike it was just a case of running out of time and it’s important they and their injuries take the time to heal following last weekend’s accident.”


15. Matt Gallagher
14. Andrew Conway
13. Chris Farrell
12. Rory Scannell
11. Liam Coombes
10. Joey Carbery
9. Craig Casey

1. Dave Kilcoyne
2. Niall Scannell
3. John Ryan
4. Jean Kleyn
5. Fineen Wycherley
6. Peter O’Mahony — captain
7. Jack O’Donoghue
8. Gavin Coombes


16. Kevin O’Byrne
17. Liam O’Connor
18. Roman Salanoa
19. Thomas Ahern
20. Billy Holland
21. Nick McCarthy
22. Jake Flannery
23. Chris Cloete.

Screenshot 2020-11-24 at 9.04.07 AM

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