Munster make eight changes to team to face Ulster at Thomond Park

Former All Black Alby Mathewson will make his debut at scrum-half for Munster against Ulster

Former All Black Alby Mathewson will make his debut at scrum-half for Munster against Ulster

FORMER All Black Alby Mathewson will make his debut at scrum-half for Munster against Ulster at Thomond Park as Johann van Graan rings the changes.

In all there are eight changes to the team that suffered a heavy defeat on the road to Cardiff Blues last Friday.

Keith Earls and Niall Scannell make their first starts of the season while Mathewson is named at scrum-half for his first Munster appearance after obtaining a work permit.

Mike Haley, Dan Goggin, Dave Kilcoyne, Billy Holland and Tommy O’Donnell all also come into the side for the first Interpro of the season at Thomond Park on Saturday night.

Haley starts at full-back with Andrew Conway and Earls on the flanks.

Rory Scannell partners Goggin in the centres with out-half Joey Carbery alongside Mathewson in the half-backs.

Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell and Stephen Archer make up the front row with Holland returning from injury to partner Tadhg Beirne in the second row.

Captain Peter O’Mahony, O’Donnell and CJ Stander complete the side.

Hooker Kevin O’Byrne and prop Ciaran Parker are both set to see their first PRO14 action of the season off the bench with O’Byrne returning from a calf injury. 

Munster: Mike Haley; Andrew Conway, Dan Goggin, Rory Scannell, Keith Earls; Joey Carbery, Alby Mathewson; Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell, Stephen Archer; Tadhg Beirne, Billy Holland; Peter O’Mahony (C), Tommy O’Donnell, CJ Stander

Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, James Cronin, Ciaran Parker, Jean Kleyn, Arno Botha, Duncan Williams, Ian Keatley, Sammy Arnold