Munster make four changes for Champions Cup opener

Dan Goggin will make his European debut as he comes in partner Scannell in midfield

Munster’s Dan Goggin will make his Champions Cup debut in the clash against Exeter. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Munster’s Dan Goggin will make his Champions Cup debut in the clash against Exeter. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

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Alby Mathewson misses out on Munster’s opening Champions Cup game with Exeter Chiefs (Saturday, 3.15pm, Sandy Park – live on BT Sport and Irish Times liveblog) after he failed to recover from a knee injury suffered in last week’s Pro14 loss to Leinster.

Duncan Williams comes in to take the number nine jersey in his place while Dan Goggin has been rewarded for his good form with a European debut.

Johann van Graan makes a total of four changes to the side that lost to Leinster with Mike Haley, Rory Scannell, Duncan Williams and Chris Cloete all coming into the starting team.

Haley starts at full-back with Andrew Conway moving to the right wing and Keith Earls retaining his place on the left flank while Scannell comes in to partner Goggin in midfield.

The half-back pairing sees Williams start at scrum-half alongside Joey Carbery while Cloete is the only change to the pack with captain Peter O’Mahony and CJ Stander making up the back row.

On the bench Neil Cronin could make his return after shaking off a shoulder injury received a few weeks ago.

MUNSTER: Mike Haley; Andrew Conway, Dan Goggin, Rory Scannell, Keith Earls; Joey Carbery, Duncan Williams; Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell, Stephen Archer; Jean Kleyn, Tadhg Beirne; Peter O’Mahony (C), Chris Cloete, CJ Stander.

Replacements: Rhys Marshall, James Cronin, John Ryan, Billy Holland, Tommy O’Donnell, Neil Cronin, JJ Hanrahan, Sammy Arnold.

EXETER CHIEFS: Phil Dollman; Jack Nowell, Henry Slade, Ian Whitten, Santiago Cordero; Gareth Steenson (captain), Stuart Townsend; Ben Moon, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Harry Williams; Dave Dennis, Sam Skinner; Dave Ewers, Don Armand, Matt Kvesic.

Replacements: Jack Yeandle, Alec Hepburn, Tomas Francis, Ollie Atkins, Tom Lawday, Jack Maunder, Joe Simmonds, Sam Hill.

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