Billy Holland, Chris Cloete and Peter O’Mahony return for Munster

Stephen Archer preferred to fellow international John Ryan at tighthead prop

Munster’s Stephen Archer is in the Munster frontrow for the trip to Paris. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Munster’s Stephen Archer is in the Munster frontrow for the trip to Paris. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

 

Billy Holland and Chris Cloete have both passed their return to play protocols arising from head injuries, and have been named to start against Racing 92 at the U Arena in Paris on Sunday (3.15pm, live on Sky Sports).

The latest trio to sign two-year contracts with the province - Holland, Stephen Archer and Kevin O’Byrne - are all included in head coach Johann van Graan’s squad with Archer promoted to the starting XV ahead of fellow international John Ryan.

In all there are four changes to the starting XV that beat Connacht 39-13 last Saturday, with captain Peter O’Mahony - an unused replacement in that encounter - and Cloete also named for Sunday’s round five European clash.

Archer joins Dave Kilcoyne and Rhys Marshall in the front row, as Holland resumes his partnership with Jean Kleyn in the second row.

The pack is completed with the back row of O’Mahony, Cloete and CJ Stander.

The all-international backline remains intact with Simon Zebo at fullback and Andrew Conway and Keith Earls on the wings. Rory Scannell partners Chris Farrell in midfield as Conor Murray and Ian Keatley continue as the halfbacks.

Kevin O’Byrne, James Cronin and Ryan make up the front row replacements with Cronin in line for his first European involvement of the season.

Darren O’Shea and Jack O’Donoghue complete the forward reserves as Duncan Williams, JJ Hanrahan and Alex Wootton provide the backline cover.

MUNSTER: Simon Zebo; Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Rory Scannell, Keith Earls; Ian Keatley, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Rhys Marshall, Stephen Archer; Jean Kleyn, Billy Holland; Peter O’Mahony (Capt), Chris Cloete, CJ Stander.

Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, James Cronin, John Ryan, Darren O’Shea, Jack O’Donoghue, Duncan Williams, JJ Hanrahan, Alex Wootton.

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