Munster name side for Champions Cup clash with Gloucester

Donn O'Sullivan, Sports Editor

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Donn O'Sullivan, Sports Editor

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donn.osullivan@limerickleader.ie

Munster name side for Champions Cup clash with Gloucester

The Munster side has been named by Head Coach Johann van Graan for Friday night’s Champions Cup clash against Gloucester at Kingsholm (7.45pm, live on BT Sport). Peter O’Mahony captains Munster with six changes to the side that defeated Connacht last weekend.

An injury doubt ahead of the game, Chris Farrell keeps his place after receiving positive news on a knee scan this week, following a knock in the last play of the game against Connacht.

Mike Haley, Rory Scannell, Conor Murray, Dave Kilcoyne, Stephen Archer and CJ Stander all come into the side.

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

Scannell and Farrell form the centre partnership with Murray and Joey Carbery in the half-backs.

Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell and Archer pack down in the front row with Jean Kleyn and Tadhg Beirne in the engine room.

O’Mahony, Tommy O’Donnell and Stander make up the Munster back row.

Rhys Marshall returns from injury and is named among the replacements, ahead of Kevin O'Byrne, with the hooker set to make his first appearance since October’s clash against Gloucester.

Meanwhile Gloucester have named their side for the game. Returning to the matchday 23 are Danny Cipriani at fly-half and Ollie Thorley on the left wing, while Franco Marais, sidelined since the previous meeting between these two sides, is named amongst the replacements.

Other changes from the side that started at Welford Road against the Leicester Tigers last Saturday see Henry Walker come in at hooker, Franco Mostert move to the blindside flank from the second row with Ed Slater taking Mostert’s place in the engine room and Lewis Ludlow back at openside flanker.

Pool 2 is the tightest of all the groups, with all the teams within four points of each other. The Cherry and Whites have lost their last two Premiership games, but Head Coach Johan Ackermann insists it’s about looking forward and not back.

“Having those losses were disappointing and not good for us. But my message to the players was that history can’t be changed and we can only control what’s in front of us.

“We’ve learned lessons from the past two weeks and implemented them into our training to try and get better. But we’ve not been sulking about it. Friday’s challenge is massive and, if you go into it with a negative mindset, it’s not going to help.

“We’re looking forward to a big challenge against a quality side and, after this weekend, we’ll know where we are in the pool. But we can’t worry about that, we just have to put in a big performance and let the result look after itself.”

Munster: Mike Haley; Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Rory Scannell, Keith Earls; Joey Carbery, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell, Stephen Archer; Jean Kleyn, Tadhg Beirne; Peter O’Mahony (C), Tommy O’Donnell, CJ Stander.

Replacements: Rhys Marshall, Jeremy Loughman, John Ryan, Billy Holland, Arno Botha, Alby Mathewson, Tyler Bleyendaal, Dan Goggin.

Gloucester Rugby: 15.Tom Hudson; 14. Charlie Sharples, 13. Billy Twelvetrees, 12. Mark Atkinson, 11. Ollie Thorley; 10. Danny Cipriani, 9. Callum Braley; 1. Josh Hohneck, 2. Henry Walker, 3. Fraser Balmain; 4. Ed Slater, 5. Gerbrandt Grobler; 6. Franco Mostert, 7. Lewis Ludlow, 8. Ben Morgan (captain)

Replacements: 16. Franco Marais, 17. Alex Seville, 18. Ciaran Knight, 19. Freddie Clarke, 20. Gareth Evans, 21. Ben Vellacott, 22. Owen Williams, 23. Henry Trinder