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Munster name Springbok duo in team to play Leinster

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(Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

The Munster team has been named for Saturday night’s eagerly-awaited return to rugby against Leinster in the Guinness PRO14 at the Aviva Stadium (7.35pm, live on eir Sport).

It will be Munster’s first game in six months with new signings Damian de Allende and RG Snyman both starting on their debuts.

Shane Daly makes his fifth start at full-back in his 18th appearance for the province with Ireland internationals Andrew Conway and Keith Earls on either flank.

De Allende is partnered in the centres by Chris Farrell with Conor Murray and JJ Hanrahan in the half-backs.

James Cronin, Niall Scannell and Stephen Archer start in the front row with Snyman and Billy Holland in the engine room.

The side is completed by the back row of captain Peter O’Mahony, Tommy O’Donnell and CJ Stander.

There are five forwards on the bench with Rhys Marshall, Dave Kilcoyne and John Ryan providing the front row back-up.

Lock Jean Kleyn and back-row Chris Cloete complete the forward cover.

Craig Casey, Rory Scannell and new signing Matt Gallagher, who is set to make his debut, are the backline replacements.

Head Coach Johann van Graan said: “It was a real squad effort the last nine weeks, everyone gave it their all.

“Unfortunately, we can only pick 23 players. There were a lot of close calls and that just shows the depth that we’ve created.

“With such a long season coming up, everybody wants to play the first game but there’s a lot of rugby to be played.

“We said all along that getting back to playing rugby on Saturday night is our sole objective.

“A few of the guys in isolation were very close to getting into the team and they worked really hard but obviously the fact they were in self-isolation ruled them out.

“They are training away at home and as soon as they come out of self-isolation, they will be available for selection again.”

Munster: Shane Daly; Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Damian de Allende, Keith Earls; JJ Hanrahan, Conor Murray; James Cronin, Niall Scannell, Stephen Archer; RG Snyman, Billy Holland; Peter O’Mahony (C), Tommy O’Donnell, CJ Stander.

Replacements: Rhys Marshall, Dave Kilcoyne, John Ryan, Jean Kleyn, Chris Cloete, Craig Casey, Rory Scannell, Matt Gallagher.

Player Update

Jack O’Donoghue was not available for selection having sustained a concussion at training this week.

Article from Munster Rugby

International

SA matches postponed due to COVID variant risk

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Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

In a statement, organisers said that due to the sudden developments that had placed South Africa on the UK and EU travel red list the matches would be rescheduled for later this season.

“The safety and well-being of our participating clubs’ players, coaches, support staff and match officials is the foremost priority and the URC is currently working with the four visiting clubs – Cardiff Rugby, Munster Rugby, Scarlets and Zebre Parma – to facilitate their return as soon as possible,” the statement advised.

“This decision is based upon the latest guidance against non-essential travel to and from South Africa, the ban on direct flights to the UK and other home destinations and the potential hotel quarantines enforced upon those returning from South Africa.

“As has been the operating practice throughout the pandemic, the URC will continue engaging with our Medical Advisory Group, our union shareholders and respective governments to plan according to the latest health guidelines.

“A period of assessment will now be required to better understand the impact of these new travel restrictions and how to reschedule these games within the current season. Given the nature and speed of these developments URC will provide further updates at the appropriate time through official channels only.”

Source – South Africa Rugby

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Champions Cup

Stephen Larkham Set For Return Home To Australia

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Munster - Pixabay

Stephen Larkham will depart Munster Rugby at the end of the 2021/22 season.

Larkham, who joined Munster as senior coach two years ago, is contracted to the province until the end of the season and was offered the opportunity to extend his time in Limerick.

After careful consideration Larkham eventually declined the extended contract offer citing personal reasons in seeking a return to Australia with his family and the additional incentive of a coaching opportunity closer to home.

Stephen Larkham said, “I only recently spoke about my desire to remain with Munster and continue working with my fellow coaches and playing group.

“That hopefully gives some indication as to how difficult a decision this has been for me. The staff, players, fans, and facilities are world class here and I am grateful to have had this opportunity.

“My family made a number of sacrifices in joining me on this move to Ireland and my girls’ adjustment over here, particularly with covid, has been difficult. I have to put them first now, and with a coaching opportunity closer to home this is the right thing for my family at this time.

“For now, my focus is very much with Munster Rugby and with a long season ahead I will savour every moment of working within this great environment as we continue to build in the right direction.”

Images & Content from Munster Rugby

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URC

Munster Squad Named For South Africa Tour

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(Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

The Munster squad that will be based in South Africa for our upcoming double-header of United Rugby Championship fixtures against the Vodacom Bulls and the Emirates Lions has been named.

A 33-man squad travelled in the end on Saturday with Simon Zebo, Gavin Coombes, Jason Jenkins and Cian Hurley adding to the initially named 29-man squad.

Jack O’Donoghue captains the squad on the tour with a Greencore Munster Rugby Academy trio of Alex Kendellen, Paddy Patterson and Hurley included.

The province have been preparing to play in the high temperatures of South Africa’s summer over the past two weeks.

Munster face the Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday, November 27 (5.45pm Irish time), and the Lions at 3.30pm Irish time on Saturday, December 4, in Johannesburg.

The squad will return to Ireland ahead of the Champions Cup opener away to Wasps in Coventry on Sunday, December 12.

Scroll down to watch how the squad have been preparing for the conditions.

Jason Jenkins (thigh) completed his rehabilitation last week, successfully coming through training on Thursday.

Munster Squad For South Africa Tour

Backs

Neil Cronin, Paddy Patterson, Jack Crowley, Jake Flannery, Ben Healy, Liam Coombes, Dan Goggin, Rory Scannell, Shane Daly, Seán French, Simon Zebo, Matt Gallagher, Mike Haley.

Forwards

Jeremy Loughman, Liam O’Connor, Josh Wycherley, Diarmuid Barron, Kevin O’Byrne, Niall Scannell, Stephen Archer, Keynan Knox, John Ryan, Thomas Ahern, Jean Kleyn, Fineen Wycherley, Cian Hurley, Jason Jenkins, Chris Cloete, Jack Daly, Alex Kendellen, Jack O’Donoghue (C), Jack O’Sullivan, Gavin Coombes.

Video | Munster Prepare For South Africa Tour

Upcoming Home Games

Saturday, December 18

Champions Cup: Munster v Castres Olympique, Thomond Park, 8pm; Buy tickets here

Sunday, December 26

URC: Munster v Leinster, Thomond Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here – Limited Availability

Saturday, January 8

URC: Munster v Ulster, Thomond Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here – Family packs available for just €40

Sunday, January 23

Champions Cup: Munster v Wasps, Thomond Park, 3.15pm; Buy tickets here

Video | Thomond Park Lights

Source – Munster Rugby

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