Andrew Smith makes first competitive start for Munster

Simon Zebo named on the left wing as the Munster era under Anthony Foley’s coaching baton gets under way

 Andrew Smith makes his Munster debut tomorrow. Photograph: Stefan Postles/Getty Images

Andrew Smith makes his Munster debut tomorrow. Photograph: Stefan Postles/Getty Images

 

Munster have been unable to select short-term signing Eusebio Guinazu for tomorrow’s opening Pro 12 fixture against Edinburgh at Thomond Park.

The Argentinian hooker was recently contracted on a four month deal to provide cover for injured trio Damien Varley, Mike Sherry and Niall Scannell but he is not due to arrive in Ireland until later this month.

Guinazu must still pass a medical and also needs his work permit to be rubberstamped. That means Kevin O’Byrne is promoted from UL Bohemians for his debut with Duncan Casey in reserve.

Number eight Shane Buckley - voted academy player of the year last May - and Andrew Smith also make their first competitive start for the province.

The former ACT Brumbies centre is joined in midfield by Munster’s most versatile back, Johne Murphy.

From the current list of Ireland internationals, only Simon Zebo makes the starting XV. Notable inclusions on the bench are Tommy O’Donnell, Dave Foley and Stephen Archer. Donncha O’Callaghan will captain the side.

Munster: Ronan O’Mahony; Andrew Conway, Johne Murphy, Andrew Smith, Simon Zebo; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; John Ryan, Kevin O’Byrne, BJ Botha; Donncha O’Callaghan (capt), Billy Holland, CJ Stander, Sean Dougall, Shane Buckley. Replacements: Duncan Casey, Alan Cotter, Stephen Archer, Dave Foley, Tommy O’Donnell, Cathal Sheridan, Johnny Holland, Ivan Dineen.

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