NEW Munster signings Andrew Smith and Robin Copeland will make their debuts for the province in Friday night’s pre-season friendly with London Irish at Waterford RSC, 7.30pm.
With a number of senior players returning to the fold and additional players available for selection, head coach Anthony Foley has made nine changes to the starting XV which suffered a heavy defeat to Gloucester last weekend.
Four of Munster’s Emerging Ireland representatives, Billy Holland, Sean Dougall, Copeland and Johne Murphy return to the squad.
Copeland will start at number eight against the ‘Exiles’, while Australian-born Andrew Smith will start at outside centre.
Prop Stephen Archer features in his first match-day squad since sustaining a neck injury in March and he is joined by last weekend’s replacements John Ryan and another new arrival Kevin O’Byrne in the all new front row.
In the second row, Billy Holland starts alongside Captain Donncha O’Callaghan as Shannon’s Sean McCarthy moves to the replacements. With Copeland starting at number eight, CJ Stander switches to blindside with Sean Dougall completing the back-row.
Cathal Sheridan starts this week in place of Duncan Williams. Cian Bohane moves to inside centre. Darren Sweetnam and Garryowen’s Ronan O’Mahony retain their places on the wings.
Hooker Duncan Casey makes a timely return from his shoulder rehabilitation and is named in the extended replacements.
MUNSTER - Johne Murphy; Ronan O’Mahony, Andrew Smith, Cian Bohane, Darren Sweetnam, Johnny Holland, Cathal Sheridan, John Ryan, Kevin O’Byrne, Stephen Archer, Donncha O’Callaghan Capt., Billy Holland, CJ Stander, Sean Dougall, Robin Copeland. Replacements: Ger Slattery, Duncan Casey, Alan Cotter, BJ Botha, Sean McCarthy, John Madigan, Shane Buckley, Barry O’Mahony, Duncan Williams, David Johnston, Ivan Dineen, Rory Scannell.
There are a limited number of tickets for Friday’s match currently available to buy from the Munster website, from the Ticket Offices Thomond Park and Musgrave Park and from the Ticketmaster van outside the Cork Road entrance at the RSC on Friday - subject to availability.