Jed Holloway to make first Munster start against struggling Ospreys
Former Australian underage international one of five changes in team that lost to Cheetahs
Jed Holloway: will make his Munster debut against Ospreys at Musgrave Park. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho
It’s one of five changes to the Munster team that lost to the Cheetahs in South Africa last time out.
Signed on a two-month, short term contract to provide cover while Munster players were on Ireland duty in Japan, Holloway made his debut when coming on against the Southern Kings the previous week. It’s an auspicious night for local boy and Munster academy prospect Jack O’Sullivan as the number eight makes his Pro14 debut.
O’Sullivan had an outstanding season with the Ireland Under-20 team in 2018 before it was cruelly cut short by cruciate knee ligament damage from which he has battled back. The UCC student is a fine athlete in what is a mobile, ball-playing Munster backrow that includes Jack O’Donoghue and Tommy O’Donnell.
Wing Calvin Nash, scrumhalf Neil Cronin and prop James Cronin have all been promoted to the run-on team by head coach Johann van Graan. The bench includes one of the stars of last season’s Ireland U-20 Grand Slam winning team in Craig Casey and centre Sammy Arnold, fit again following injury.
The Ospreys have a pretty extensive injury list to go with the eight players currently in Japan with Wales and in previous games against Irish province this season have suffered horribly losing 38-14 to Ulster in Belfast and 53-5 against Leinster at the RDS. They did record their first win of the season last time out when narrowly beating Benetton at the Liberty Stadium.
Munster too can point to the fact that they are missing a hefty tranche of players in terms of their Irish squad contingent but do possess experience and quality in key positions. Shane Daly has been consistently excellent while Dan Goggin and Rory Scannell are forging a good understanding in midfield. Tyler Bleyendaal will drive his team around the pitch if Billy Holland and his pack provide the ammunition.
Replacements: K O’Byrne, L O’Connor, J Loughman, F Wycherley, A Botha, C Casey, JJ Hanrahan, S Arnold.
Referee: S Berry (South Africa).