Jack O’Donoghue returns to Munster XV for Zebre visit

There are seven changes to the Munster side that faced Scarlets three weeks ago

Jack O'Donoghue is back in the Munster team to play Zebre at Thomond Park on Saturday night (kick-off: 7.45pm).

CJ Stander captains the side on his return from international duty with O’Donoghue making his first start since recovering from a serious knee injury.

There are seven changes to the side that faced Scarlets three weeks ago.

Alex Wootton, JJ Hanrahan, Stephen Archer, Darren O'Shea, O'Donoghue, Chris Cloete and Stander all come into the starting XV.


Mike Haley starts at fullback with Darren Sweetnam and Wootton on either flank. Rory Scannell and Dan Goggin continue their centre partnership with Alby Mathewson and Hanrahan in the halfbacks.

Jeremy Loughman, Rhys Marshall and Archer pack down in the frontrow. Fineen Wycherley moves into the secondrow and is partnered by Darren O'Shea. It's all change in the backrow as O'Donoghue, Cloete and Stander complete the side.

Tyler Bleyendaal is among the replacements and is in line to make his 50th appearance for the province.

Internationals Niall Scannell, John Ryan and Chris Farrell all return to the matchday 23.

Munster: Mike Haley; Darren Sweetnam, Dan Goggin, Rory Scannell, Alex Wootton; JJ Hanrahan, Alby Mathewson; Jeremy Loughman, Rhys Marshall, Stephen Archer; Fineen Wycherley, Darren O'Shea; Jack O'Donoghue, Chris Cloete, CJ Stander (Capt).

Replacements: Niall Scannell, Liam O'Connor, John Ryan, Jean Kleyn, Arno Botha, Duncan Williams, Tyler Bleyendaal, Chris Farrell.