Conor Murray and Keith Earls return for Munster

Backrow pair return after injuries for the Pro14 quarter-final meeting with Benetton

Conor Murray and Keith Earls both start for Munster in their Pro14 quarter-final meeting with Benetton. Photo: Inpho

Conor Murray and Keith Earls both start for Munster in their Pro14 quarter-final meeting with Benetton. Photo: Inpho

 

Pro14 semi-final qualifier: Munster v Benetton

Kick-off: 3pm, Saturday. Venue: Thomond Park. On TV: Eir Sport, Premier Sports.

Conor Murray and Keith Earls both make welcome returns to the Munster team for their Pro14 quarter-final clash with Benetton on Saturday.

The winners will book a place in the semi-finals where Leinster await.

Murray pulled out during the warm-up ahead of Munster’s clash with Connacht last weekend due to stiffness in his neck but it’s not as bad as first feared and he will start at Thomond Park.

Earls also makes the starting lineup in what will be his first appearance since the European quarter-final win over Edinburgh where he suffered a thigh injury.

Rory Scannell also comes into the side as one of the three changes made to the team from last week. Scannell lines up in the back-row along with Murray, Earls and captain Peter O’Mahony.

Mike Haley starts at full-back with Andrew Conway and Earls on either flank.

Scannell and Chris Farrell pair up in the centres with Murray and Tyler Bleyendaal in the half-backs.

Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell and Stephen Archer pack down in the front row.

Jean Kleyn and Tadhg Beirne start in the engine room with O’Mahony, Chris Cloete and CJ Stander completing the side in the back row.

MUNSTER: Mike Haley; Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Rory Scannell, Keith Earls; Tyler Bleyendaal, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell, Stephen Archer; Jean Kleyn, Tadhg Beirne; Peter O’Mahony (C), Chris Cloete, CJ Stander.

Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, Jeremy Loughman, John Ryan, Billy Holland, Arno Botha, Alby Mathewson, JJ Hanrahan, Dan Goggin.

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