Returning Simon Zebo among three changes for Munster

Niall Scannell and Tommy O’Donnell come into the pack, Stephen Archer is on the bench

Simon Zebo is back in the Munster team for Saturday’s game. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Simon Zebo is back in the Munster team for Saturday’s game. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

 

Anthony Foley has made three changes from the side that defeated Treviso for Saturday’s return to Thomond Park where Munster face Newport Gwent Dragons.

Following his Six Nations involvement against England in Twickenham last weekend, Simon Zebo has been made available to the province and will make his first appearance in red since January, while Stephen Archer also makes a welcome return to the matchday squad after successfully overcoming a neck injury that has kept him sidelined since October. Should he make an appearance from the bench, the tighthead will win his 100th Munster cap.

The first of two changes to the pack sees hooker Niall Scannell join Dave Kilcoyne and John Ryan in the front row. Mark Chisholm and captain Billy Holland continue in the second row, while in the back row, Tommy O’Donnell returns at seven with Dave O’Callaghan and Jack O’Donoghue switching to six and eight respectively.

Zebo starts on the left wing in an otherwise unchanged backline. Duncan Williams and Ian Keatley form the half-back partnership and Rory Scannell makes his tenth consecutive start at inside centre in partnering Francis Saili in the midfield.

In other news, this week saw Mario Sagario called up to the Uruguayan international squad for the Americas Rugby Championship. The Munster tighthead will start against the USA in Montevideo tomorrow.

Munster: Andrew Conway; Darren Sweetnam, Francis Saili, Rory Scannell, Simon Zebo; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell, John Ryan; Mark Chisholm, Billy Holland - capt.; Dave O’Callaghan, Tommy O’Donnell, Jack O’Donoghue.

Replacements: Mike Sherry, James Cronin, Stephen Archer, Dave Foley, Robin Copeland, Cathal Sheridan, Johnny Holland, David Johnston.

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