Munster look to maintain good form against Cardiff
Anthony Foley’s men are four points off the Pro12 playoff places
Munster number eight Robin Copeland on the charge against Newport Gwent Dragons. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho
Cardiff v Munster, Cardiff Arms Park, Friday, 7.15pm
Munster make five changes for their visit to Cardiff with James Cronin and Mike Sherry returning to the pack and Dave Foley slotting in to partner captain Billy Holland in the secondrow.
Robin Copeland comes in at number eight forcing a backrow reshuffle, while winger Ronan O’Mahony has overcome his hamstring complaint to join the back three. Academy secondrow and Kerry native Seán McCarthy will make his Pro12 debut if he comes off the bench.
While Cardiff have won just once in their last four league outings, Munster are looking for their third win in a row. They haven’t lost in the Cardiff Arms Park since 2009, a streak Foley would dearly wish to continue.
These are the matches Munster need to win if they want to belong in the playoff mix. They are just four points shy of fourth-placed Ulster and there’s really just a one match swing in it.
Foley will travel buoyed by the fact his short-term future with the club is secure having signed a one-year contract during the week.
“We know the size of the challenge; Munster have been one of the best sides in the Guinness PRO12 and Europe over a number of years so it’s a big test,” said Cardiff coach Danny Wilson.
CARDIFF: D Fish; A Summerhill, G Smith, R Lee-Lo, B Scully; R Patchell, L Williams; B Thyer, M Rees (c), S Ma’afu, CDolan, J Turnbull, M Cook, E Jenkins, J Navidi. Replacements: K Dacey, T Davies, T Filise, L Reed, M Vosawai, L Jones, J Evans, G Evans
MUNSTER: A Conway; D Sweetnam, F Saili, R Scannell, R O’Mahony; I Keatley, D Williams; J Cronin, M Sherry, J Ryan; D Foley, B Holland (C) J O’Donoghue, D O’Callaghan, R Copeland. Replacements: N Scannell, D Kilcoyne, S Archer, S McCarthy, J Coghlan, C Sheridan, J Holland, D Johnston.
Referee: D Wilkinson (IRFU)