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PREVIEW: Munster Switch Things Up for Blues Clash

Munster have made six changes to their team from last weekend’s win over Edinburgh

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Photo by Andrew Surma/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Munster have named six changes of personnel to their team that defeated Edinburgh in the Champions Cup as they prepare to host the Cardiff Blues in Independent Park on Friday at 19 35 in the Pro14.

Mike Haley, Tyler Bleyendaal, Kevin O’Byrne, Billy Holland, Chris Cloete and Arno Botha all take a place in the starting XV while the rest of the team stays the same.

That means that Dave Kilcoyne, O’Byrne and John Ryan start in the front-row, with Jean Kleyn and Holland slotting into the second-row.

Peter O’Mahony captains the side from the left of the scrum, with Cloete on the right and Botha finishing the pack at eight.

Conor Murray and Bleyendaal continue their half-back partnership following Joey Carbery’s injury last weekend. While Rory Scannell and Chris Farrell remain in the centre.

Last weekend’s hero, Keith Earls continues on the left-wing, with Andrew Conway shifting from full-back to the right-wing as Haley returns to 15.

There is plenty of experience to call on from the bench if needed with the likes of Niall Scannell, Tadhg Beirne, CJ Stander and JJ Hanrahan to call upon.

Speaking before the game reds head coach Johann van Graan has talked up his team’s opponents as he hopes his side can push on for a home semi-final spot.
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“They’ve got some fantastic players up front and in the backs. Give them the respect they deserve, they won the Challenge Cup last year, that people forget, and they’ve had some very good performances over the year,” he said.

For the visitors, Rhys Gill, Kristian Dacey and Dillon Lewis start in the front-three, while Seb Davies and Rory Thorn are in the engine room.

Shane Lewis-Hughes, Olly Robinson and Josh Turnbull are in the back-row and make up the pack.

Tomos Williams starts at scrum-half alongside Jarrod Evans at fly-half, with Willis Halaholo and Rey Lee-Lo outside them in the centre.

Aled Summerhill and Owen Lee are at 11 and 14 respectively, with Wales Six Nations star Gareth Anscombe at full-back.

Munster need a win to keep up the pressure on Glasgow Warriors at the top of Conference A with three-points separating the sides. While Cardiff are sitting in forth place, level on points with Connacht and a win away to in Ireland could be crucial if they are to make the play-offs.


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Squad Update | Team News Ahead Of Zebre At Musgrave Park

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The Munster squad returned to training at the HPC today (Tuesday) ahead of Saturday’s BKT United Rugby Championship round 3 game against Zebre at Musgrave Park (5.05pm).

Buy match tickets here.

Nine Munster players are in Bloemfontein with Emerging Ireland: Thomas Ahern, Diarmuid Barron, Jack Crowley, Shane Daly, Antoine Frisch, John Hodnett, Calvin Nash, Roman Salanoa and Josh Wycherley.

As confirmed by the IRFU at the weekend, Alex Kendellen has been ruled out of the Emerging Ireland tour and will complete his return-to-play protocols.

Injury Update in association with Laya Healthcare

Jean Kleyn sustained a concussion against Dragons on Sunday and will follow the graduated return-to-play protocols.

Peter O’Mahony (ankle) is expected to return to training later this week.

Keith Earls was removed with a suspected hamstring injury. He will be further assessed by the medical team this week.

In a positive update, Rory Scannell (nose) will return to squad training this week.

Unavailable: Gavin Coombes (groin), RG Snyman (knee), Jack Daly (knee), Andrew Conway (knee).

Images & Content from Munster Rugby


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Additional terracing confirmed for October interpros

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Following huge demand for tickets, Connacht Rugby can confirm that temporary terracing will be installed for both BKT United Rugby Championship interpros against Munster and Leinster next month.

The game against Munster on Friday 7th October is set to be a momentous occasion as the club plays its first fixture on the new state-of-the-art, artificial surface.

Just seven days later neighbours Leinster visit the West of Ireland, in what will be another crucial game in the context of the overall season.

The terraces will be located at the Bohermore and College Road ends of the ground, bringing the capacity of The Sportsground up to 8,129.

Tickets for both games are on sale now at connachtrugby.ie/tickets, and supporters are urged to act quickly to avoid disappointment.

We are also now offering our fans a special October Interpros bundle. This bundle will guarantee your place in The Sportsground for these can’t-miss October games.

Images & Content from – Connacht Rugby


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Academy Update | September 2022

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We spoke to Greencore Munster Rugby Academy Manager Ian Costello last week for the first update of the new season from the Greencore Munster Rugby Academy.

New recruits Fionn Gibbons, Darragh McSweeney, Evan O’Connell, Jack Oliver, Ruadhan Quinn and Kieran Ryan have all hit the ground running and seen game-time at various levels over the past number of weeks.

19-year-old second year Academy member and UCC clubman Edwin Edogbo made his senior debut against Dragons on Sunday becoming the first Cobh Pirates player to line out for Munster in the professional era. Edwin missed all of last year due to an achilles injury but impressed in pre-season and was rewarded with a debut in Wales.

Hear the latest from Costello below.

Munster A v Connacht A last week…

“It was a good run-out. They had played a game the week before and our game against Ulster had been cancelled so they were a bit more clinical.

“We dominated possession and territory but they were more accurate, we were a little bit rusty at key times but it was a good exercise overall.”

New recruits…

“Kieran Ryan and Darragh McSweeney, the two props, are getting on really well. Ruadhan Quinn obviously hit the ground running with 78 minutes against Gloucester in pre-season, which was great for him to get a senior run-out. Evan O’Connell was released back to the Munster U19s and he played the Interpros with them and they won two out of three.

“Jack Oliver played his first game for Munster in a long time against Connacht A and he had a club run-out with Garryowen the week before. It was his first time playing in seven months so it was great to have him back as well. Fionn Gibbons had his first run-out since joining us against Connacht too.”

Academy players Tony Butler, Edwin Edogbo, Cian Hurley, Daniel Okeke, Conor Phillips getting game-time in pre-season games…

“It’s fantastic. And to have so many players away with Emerging Ireland now, it gives our lads the chance to push for a squad spot in the URC for the next three games.

“We’ll be stretched a bit at senior level with the 10 guys selected for Emerging Ireland so we’d be hopeful there will be a couple of Academy players in the mix over the next couple of weeks and anyone who isn’t in the mix will be playing with their club.

“On the injury front, Patrick Campbell (toe) was injured with the Ireland U20s over the summer and he’s a couple of weeks away.

“Daniel Okeke tweaked his hamstring in the A game last weekend so hopefully he won’t be out for too long.”

AIL season kicking off this weekend…

“The players will all go back to their clubs this week and hopefully the majority of the lads will be playing in AIL round one, if they’re not involved in the URC.

“We have been drip-feeding the lads back with their clubs so a number of guys have been training with their clubs over the last few Tuesdays so we try to keep them connected to their club as much as possible.”

Summer training camps for underage sides…

“We had a residential camp in UL over the summer. We put a lot of time, effort and resources into a three-week residential camp. We brought 15 under-20 players to train with the U19s. The U20s don’t have an Interprovincial tournament so they’re essentially the guys we’re looking at to move onto the next level. Guys like Daniel Hurley trained with them, he’s back from a cruciate injury, Shay McCarthy who had gone away with the Ireland U20s…these are the kind of guys we’re looking at long-term as well.

“We brought that group of 15 to train with 30 U19s so that was class. Off the back of those training camps, the Munster U18s won the Interpros, the U19s won two out of three so there’s a lot of good players emerging out of that and it was good to validate it with winning an Interpro as well.”

Images & Content from Munster Rugby


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