Munster make 11 changes to their team for Benetton clash

Three academy players are included in the squad for Friday’s trip to Stadio Monigo

The Munster team training at UL in Limerick this week. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

The Munster team training at UL in Limerick this week. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

 

Munster have made 11 changes to the side that defeated Cardiff Blues last week for Friday night’s Pro14 clash against Benetton Rugby at Stadio Monigo (kick-off 7pm Irish time).

JJ Hanrahan starts at outhalf and will make his 100th Munster appearance with tighthead prop Stephen Archer making his 150th Pro14 appearance.

Mike Haley, Darren Sweetnam, Billy Holland and Chris Cloete are retained from last week’s line-up with Holland captaining the side.

Three academy players are included in the squad as Shane Daly and Gavin Coombes are named in the starting XV with Alex McHenry in line to make his senior debut off the bench.

Haley starts at fullback with Sweetnam and Daly on either flank as Dan Goggin and Sammy Arnold partner up in the centres. Alby Mathewson and Hanrahan are named in the halfbacks.

Jeremy Loughman, Rhys Marshall and Archer start in the frontrow with Fineen Wycherley and Holland in the engine room. Jack O’Donoghue, Chris Cloete and Coombes complete the starting XV.

Dave O’Callaghan is among the replacements and set to make his first Pro14 appearance since September after recently returning from injury.

Munster: Mike Haley; Darren Sweetnam, Sammy Arnold, Dan Goggin, Shane Daly; JJ Hanrahan, Alby Mathewson; Jeremy Loughman, Rhys Marshall, Stephen Archer; Fineen Wycherley, Billy Holland (Capt); Jack O’Donoghue, Chris Cloete, Gavin Coombes.

Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, Liam O’Connor, Ciaran Parker, Darren O’Shea, Dave O’Callaghan, Neil Cronin, Bill Johnston, Alex McHenry.

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