Conor Murray, Malakai Fekitoa and Calvin Nash return to Munster line-up for URC final

The trio have completed their return to play protocols following the head injuries they received in the quarter-final against Glasgow

Conor Murray, Malakai Fekitoa and Calvin Nash all return to the Munster side for Saturday’s URC Grand Final against the Stormers at the DHL Stadium (6.30pm local/5.30pm Irish).

The trio have completed their return to play protocols following the head injuries they received in the quarter-final against Glasgow and which ruled them out of the 16-15 semi-final win over Leinster a fortnight ago at the RDS thanks to a late Jack Crowley drop goal.

With Fekitoa returning at inside centre, Crowley moves from inside entre to outhalf, as he did for more than half the semi-final after Ben Healy went off due to a head knock. Healy is named on the bench.

RG Snyman, the fourth player to be ruled out of the semi-final as a consequence of a head injury in the Glasgow game, also returns to the match-day squad, but with Graham Rowntree opting for an unchanged pack, the South African World Cup winner is a replacement.


DHL Stormers Head Coach John Dobson said that it is a major boost to have the likes of Deon Fourie and Marvin Orie back for the Grand Final.

“Both Deon and Marvin have been outstanding for us this season and they will add a lot both in terms of their ability and leadership on Saturday,” said head coach John Dobson, ahead of the 55,000 sell-out.

“We have a lot of respect for Munster, the truth is that we have never beaten them, so while we are thrilled to be playing at home we know it will be a big challenge against a good team.

“This will be the biggest crowd for any DHL Stormers match and it should be an amazing occasion for the team, our passionate supporters and the city of Cape Town.

“We are so grateful for the support that we enjoy and what this team means to so many people. We will do our best to soak up the atmosphere, enjoy every moment and play the kind of rugby that got us here,” he said.

STORMERS: Damian Willemse, Angelo Davids, Ruhan Nel, Dan du Plessis, Leolin Zas, Manie Libbok, Herschel Jantjies, Steven Kitshoff (capt), Joseph Dweba, Frans Malherbe, Ruben van Heerden, Marvin Orie, Deon Fourie, Hacjivah Dayimani, Evan Roos. Replacements: JJ Kotze, Ali Vermaak, Neethling Fouche, Ben-Jason Dixon, Willie Engelbrecht, Marcel Theunissen, Paul de Wet, Clayton Blommetjies

MUNSTER: Mike Haley; Calvin Nash, Antoine Frisch, Malakai Fekitoa, Shane Daly; Jack Crowley, Conor Murray; Jeremy Loughman, Diarmuid Barron, Stephen Archer; Jean Kleyn, Tadhg Beirne; Peter O’Mahony (capt), John Hodnett, Gavin Coombes. Replacements: Niall Scannell, Josh Wycherley, Roman Salanoa, RG Snyman, Alex Kendellen, Craig Casey, Ben Healy, Keith Earls.

Gerry Thornley

Gerry Thornley

Gerry Thornley is Rugby Correspondent of The Irish Times