Munster boost with Murray’s return for Leicester tie

Colm Kinsella

Reporter:

Colm Kinsella

The Munster side to face Leicester Tigers in Saturday night's crucial European Champions Cup clash at Thomond Park, 7.45pm, has been named
SCRUM-HALF Conor Murray, second row Donnacha Ryan and centre Francis Saili have all been passed fit to start for Munster in Saturday night’s crunch Champions Cup clash with Leicester Tigers at Thomond Park, 7.45pm.

SCRUM-HALF Conor Murray, second row Donnacha Ryan and centre Francis Saili have all been passed fit to start for Munster in Saturday night’s crunch Champions Cup clash with Leicester Tigers at Thomond Park, 7.45pm.

Niall Scannell will make his first appearance in European competition when starting at hooker, although Mike Sherry has successfully rehabbed a knee injury and is included among the replacements.

In all, head coach Anthony Foley makes nine changes to the side that started against Newport Gwent Dragons in the Pro12 last Sunday.

In the front row, James Cronin and BJ Botha return to scrum down on either side of hooker Scannell. The returning Donnacha Ryan joins Dave Foley in the second row while Robin Copeland and CJ Stander are named alongside Dave O’Callaghan in the back row.

Named at blindside, this will be Copeland’s first Champions Cup start for the province, while Stander returns to captain the side from number 8.

A changed half-back pairing sees Conor Murray and Ian Keatley renew their partnership after Murray successfully rehabbed a bruised bone he sustained during the round one encounter against Treviso.

The further changes to the backline see Francis Saili, Keith Earls and Andrew Conway all named. Francis Saili starts with Denis Hurley in midfield while Simon Zebo is joined by Keith Earls and Andrew Conway in the back three.

Mike Sherry is included in the replacements after rehabbing a knee injury he sustained in the opening round against Treviso, while Tyler Bleyendaal is in line to make his European debut if sprung from the bench.

MUNSTER: Andrew Conway; Keith Earls, Francis Saili, Denis Hurley, Simon Zebo; Ian Keatley, Conor Murray; James Cronin, Niall Scannell, BJ Botha; Dave Foley, Donnacha Ryan; Robin Copeland, Dave O’Callaghan, CJ Stander Capt.

Replacements: Mike Sherry, Dave Kilcoyne, John Ryan, Mark Chisholm, Jack O’Donoghue, Tomás O’Leary, Tyler Bleyendaal, Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino.