Three Munster Academy players selected for Pro14 clash with Scarlets
Jack O’Donoghue misses out on selection after aggravating neck injury last week
Munster head coach Johann van Graan has called on three Academy players for their clash with Scarlets. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Munster v Scarlets, Thomond Park, Saturday, 5pm - Live TG4, Eir Sport 1 and Free Sports
Munster coach Johann van Graan has selected three Academy players in his squad for their Guinness Pro14 meeting with Scarlets. But there is no Jack O’Donoghue, who aggravated a neck injury at the end of last week and was not considered for selection.
Jack O’Sullivan holds his place at number eight in a side that has five changes to the one that secured a bonus-point win away to Zebre last week. Billy Holland returns to captain Munster with Chris Farrell back from international duty. Dan Goggin, Kevin O’Byrne and Stephen Archer also return to start the game.
Mike Haley lines out at fullback with Calvin Nash and Darren Sweetnam completing the back three. Craig Casey and JJ Hanrahan continue in the halfbacks and outside them a centre partnership of Goggin and Farrell.
James Cronin, O’Byrne and Archer pack down in the frontrow with Fineen Wycherley and Holland in the engine room. A backrow of Arno Botha, Chris Cloete and Academy man O’Sullivan complete the side.
Munster are second in Conference B, three points behind leaders Edinburgh with Scarlets in third position. But keep an eye on Hanrahan. The Munster outhalf has been successful with 20 consecutive kicks at goal in the Pro14. He leads the Golden Boot standings with a 92.5 per cent success rate having successfully kicked 37 out of 40 attempts.
MUNSTER: M Haley; C Nash, C Farrell, D Goggin, D Sweetnam; JJ Hanrahan, C Casey; J Cronin, K O’Byrne, S Archer; F Wycherley, B Holland; A Botha, C Cloete, J O’Sullivan.
Replacements: D Barron, J Loughman, J Ryan, G Coombes, J Hodnett, N McCarthy, R Scannell, T O’Donnell.
SCARLETS: A O’Brien; C Baldwin, P Asquith, S Huges, S Evans; D Jones, J Evans; P Price, T Davies, W Kruger; L Rawlins, S Lousi; A Shingler, J MacLeod, U Cassiem.
Replacements: I Phillips, D Evans, J Sebastian, T Ratuva, S Cummins, D Davies, D Blacker, R Conbeer.
Referee: M Adamson (SRU).
Verdict: Munster win