Munster and Ulster both ring the changes for Rainbow Cup clash
Dan Goggin comes in for Munster with Will Addison among nine changes for Ulster
Dan Goggin starts for Munster on Friday night against Ulster. File photograph: Inpho
Munster v Ulster, Thomond Park (8.15, live on Eir Sport)
Three of Ireland’s eight strong Lions’ contingent, Munster duo Conor Murray and Tadhg Beirne and Ulster captain Iain Henderson, will be in action in the second round of matches in the Rainbow Cup.
Murray and Beirne are two of seven players retained by Munster head coach Johan van Graan from the victory over Leinster on the opening weekend. Andrew Conway, Dan Goggin- playing his first game since January - Rory Scannell and Clermont bound JJ Hanrahan come into the backline.
Up front John Ryan, Fineen Wycherley, Chris Cloete and Gavin Coombes are promoted to the starting team while the strength of the bench is best encapsulated by players like Jean Kleyn, CJ Stander and Damien de Allende. Ben Healy is among the replacements while Jack Crowley is currently training with the Ireland Sevens squad ahead of their Olympic qualifier next month.
Will Addison makes a first start for Ulster at outside centre while Rob Lyttle is named on the right wing and Alby Mathewson at scrumhalf as Robert Baloucoune and John Cooney suffered concussions in the European Challenge Cup semi-final defeat to the Leicester Tigers. Michael Lowry starts at outhalf in place of Billy Burns.
Ulster head coach Dan McFarland has opted for a new frontrow in the nine changes from the Tigers match, while Marcus Rea and the outstanding young prospect, David McCann are promoted to openside flanker and number eight respectively.
Angus Curtis makes a long-awaited return to the Ulster match-day squad for the first time since he sustained a serious knee injury in December 2019. He is part of a strong bench that includes Ireland hooker Rob Herring, Marty Moore, Wallaby Sam Carter, Nick Timoney and James Hume.
It should be an entertaining tussle given the talent on display. Munster with a slightly stronger pack and playing at home, should continue on their winning ways.
Munster: M Haley; A Conway, D Goggin, R Scannell, S Daly; JJ Hanrahan, C Murray; D Kilcoyne, N Scannell, J Ryan; F Wycherley, T Beirne; P O’Mahony (capt), C Cloete, G Coombes. Replacements: K O’Byrne, J Loughman, R Salanoa, J Kleyn, CJ Stander, N McCarthy, B Healy, D de Allende.
Ulster: J Stockdale; R Lyttle, W Addison, S McCloskey, E McIlroy; M Lowry, A Mathewson; A Warwick, J Andrew, T O’Toole; A O’Connor, I Henderson (capt); J Murphy, Marcus Rea, D McCann. Replacements: R Herring, C Reid, M Moore; S Carter, N Timoney, D Shanahan, A Curtis, J Hume.
Referee: C Evans (Wales)