Peter O’Mahony back to lead Munster against Ulster
Stockdale among a host of Ireland stars returning to provincial action in Limerick
Peter O’Mahony leads Munster against Ulster. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
Both Munster and Ulster welcome back a host of Ireland internationals for Saturday’s interprovincial clash at Thomond Park.
Munster boss Johann van Grann can call on eight of the province’s Rugby World Cup contingent, with Peter O’Mahony back to lead the side in Limerick.
In total Van Graan has made 12 changes from the side which won away to Cardiff last week - Joey Carbery’s ankle injury allows JJ Hanrahan to continue at outhalf, while Alby Mathewson and Chris Cloete also retain their places.
Meanwhile for the visitors Jacob Stockdale - who had a quiet World Cup by his own high standards - returns on the wing, with Jordi Murphy also reinstated in the backrow.
Stockdale’s return means Matt Faddes switches to fullback, with Rob Lyttle completing the back three. Stuart McCloskey and Luke Marshall start in midfield, with Angus Curtis at 10 and John Cooney at nine.
Up front Jack McGrath and Marty Moore start either side of Rob Herring in a powerful frontrow, with Sam Carter and Alan O’Connor in the engine room. Sean Reidy and Nick Timoney join Murphy in the backrow.
Munster: Mike Haley; Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Rory Scannell, Liam Coombes; JJ Hanrahan, Alby Mathewson; James Cronin, Niall Scannell, John Ryan; Jean Kleyn, Billy Holland; Peter O’Mahony (C), Chris Cloete, CJ Stander. Replacements: Jeremy Loughman, Kevin O’Byrne, Stephen Archer, Fineen Wycherley, Jack O’Donoghue, Conor Murray, Tyler Bleyendaal, Arno Botha.
Ulster: Matt Faddes; Rob Lyttle, Luke Marshall, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale; Angus Curtis, John Cooney; Jack McGrath, Rob Herring (capt), Marty Moore, Alan O’Connor, Sam Carter, Sean Reidy, Jordi Murphy, Nick Timoney. Replacements: Adam McBurney, Eric O’Sullivan, Tom O’Toole, Kieran Treadwell, Matthew Rea, David Shanahan, Bill Johnston, Robert Baloucoune.