Blow for Munster as Murray ruled out of Saracens clash

Colm Kinsella

Reporter:

Colm Kinsella

Conor Murray has been ruled out of Munster's must-win European Champions Cup tie with Saracens at Allianz Park this Saturday, 1pm, due to a neck injury
INTERNATIONAL scrum-half Conor Murray will miss Munster’s make-or-break European Champions Cup clash with Saracens at Allianz Park this Saturday, 1pm.

INTERNATIONAL scrum-half Conor Murray will miss Munster’s make-or-break European Champions Cup clash with Saracens at Allianz Park this Saturday, 1pm.

Murray has failed to recover in time from a neck injury for the must-win clash Pool 1 clash with the Aviva Premiership giants.

The hugely influential Irish international met with the specialist for the neck injury sustained against Zebre last weekend and as a result has been was ruled out of selection for this weekend’s encounter. Murray’s injury will be reviewed further after the weekend.

Duncan Williams will make his first European start in the game at scrum-half in Murray’s absence. Munster head coach Anthony Foley has not included any recognised scrum-half cover on the bench for Sarries’ tie.

The fit-again Keith Earls, who made his first appearance of the season when introduced as a second half replacement against Zebre, is again listed among the replacements.

Denis Hurley returns to partner Pat Howard in midfield and Andrew Conway joining Simon Zebo and Felix Jones in the back three.

A now front row combination has been seelcted with the fit-again James Cronin and BJ Botha packing down on either side of Duncan Casey at loosehead and tighthead respectively.

In the second row Paul O’Connell will partner Dave Foley, while in the back row Peter O’Mahony reverts back to blindside with Tommy O’Donnell coming in at openside and CJ Stander continuing at number eight.

Should they make an appearance from the bench this weekend, Earls will win his 100th cap for the province, while Ronan O’Mahony will make his European debut.

Saturday’s game will be televsied live on BT Sport.

MUNSTER: Felix Jones; Andrew Conway, Pat Howard, Denis Hurley, Simon Zebo; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; James Cronin, Duncan Casey, BJ Botha; Dave Foley, Paul O’Connell; Peter O’Mahony (Capt), Tommy O’Donnell, CJ Stander. Replacements: Eusebio Guinazu, John Ryan, Stephen Archer, Billy Holland, Dave O’Callaghan, Ronan O’Mahony, JJ Hanrahan, Keith Earls.

SARACENS: Alex Goode; Chris Ashton, Marcelo Bosch, Brad Barritt, David Strettle; Owen Farrell, Richard Wigglesworth; Mako Vunipola, Jamie George, Petrus Du Plessis; Jim Hamilton, Alistair Hargreaves (Capt); Kelly Brown, Jacques Burger, Billy Vunipola. Replacements: Brett Sharman, Richard Barrington, James Johnston, Maro Itoje, Ernst Joubert, Neil de Kock, Charlie Hodgson, Chris Wyles.