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O'Mahony and Zebo unavailable, Murray benched as Munster prepare for Ulster exam

Ulster have picked Mike Lowry at out-half.

Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

MUNSTER HAVE to plan without captain Peter O’Mahony, Simon Zebo and Niall Scannell for tomorrow’s trip to Belfast.

All in there are seven changes to the side that beat Exeter Chiefs last weekend.

Craig Casey and Shane Daly come into the backline and there is a new front row of Jeremy Loughman, Diarmuid Barron and Stephen Archer.

Thomas Ahern comes into the second row and Greencore Munster Rugby Academy man Alex Kendellen starts at no.8.

Jack O’Donoghue captains Munster and makes a positional switch to blindside flanker.

Mike Haley starts at full-back with Keith Earls and Daly on either flank. Damian de Allende and Chris Farrell continue their centre partnership with Casey and Joey Carbery in the half-backs.

Jean Kleyn partners Ahern in the engine room with O’Donoghue, John Hodnett and Kendellen completing the side.

Academy hooker Scott Buckley is among the replacements and in line to make his sixth appearance of the season.

Zebo misses out due to personal reasons while O’Mahony and Niall Scannell didn’t come through a full training week and were unavailable due to knocks.

Ulster, meanwhile, have handed a start to Stewart Moore at full-back, with Rob Baloucoune and Ethan McIlroy retained on the wings from last Saturday’s game against Toulouse. Stuart McCloskey and James Hume will form the midfield pairing. Mike Lowry makes a positional switch to start at out-half alongside John Cooney at scrum-half.

Last weekend’s starting front row have been retained, with Andrew Warwick, Rob Herring and Marty Moore selected. Captain Iain Henderson and Alan O’Connor also keep their starting berths. Matty Rea and Jordi Murphy will come into the side at blindside and openside flankers, with Nick Timoney switching to Number Eight.

Brad Roberts, Eric O’Sullivan, Gareth Milasinovich, Sam Carter and Sean Reidy provide forward cover off the bench, while Nathan Doak, Ian Madigan and Ben Moxham offer the back line options.

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Ulster:

Stewart Moore, Rob Baloucoune, James Hume, Stuart McCloskey, Ethan McIlroy, Mike Lowry, John Cooney; Andrew Warwick, Rob Herring, Marty Moore, Alan O’Connor, Iain Henderson (Capt.), Matty Rea, Jordi Murphy, Nick Timoney.

Replacements: Brad Roberts, Eric O’Sullivan, Gareth Milasinovich, Sam Carter, Sean Reidy, Nathan Doak, Ian Madigan, Ben Moxham.

Munster: Mike Haley; Keith Earls, Chris Farrell, Damian de Allende, Shane Daly; Joey Carbery, Craig Casey; Jeremy Loughman, Diarmuid Barron, Stephen Archer; Jean Kleyn, Thomas Ahern; Jack O’Donoghue (C), John Hodnett, Alex Kendellen.

Replacements: Scott Buckley, Josh Wycherley, John Ryan, Jason Jenkins, Fineen Wycherley, Conor Murray, Ben Healy, Chris Cloete.

About the author:

Garry Doyle

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