The Munster team has been named for Friday night’s Guinness PRO14 clash against Benetton Rugby at Stadio Monigo (8pm local time/7pm Irish time – live on eir Sport & FreeSports).
There are 11 changes to the side that defeated Cardiff Blues at Irish Independent Park last week. Former Rockwell star JJ Hanrahan starts at out-half and will make his 100th Munster appearance with tighthead prop Stephen Archer making his 150th PRO14 appearance.
Mike Haley who missed out on the Champions Cup quarter final against Edinburgh, joins Darren Sweetnam, Billy Holland and Chris Cloete in the list of players kept from last week’s line-up, with Holland captaining the side.
Three young Cork players are included in the squad as Shane Daly and Gavin Coombes are named in the starting XV with Alex McHenry in line to make his PRO14 debut off the bench.
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Dave O’Callaghan is among the replacements and set to make his first PRO14 appearance since September after recently returning from injury.
Munster: Mike Haley; Darren Sweetnam, Sammy Arnold, Dan Goggin, Shane Daly; JJ Hanrahan, Alby Mathewson; Jeremy Loughman, Rhys Marshall, Stephen Archer; Fineen Wycherley, Billy Holland (C); Jack O’Donoghue, Chris Cloete, Gavin Coombes.
Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, Liam O’Connor, Ciaran Parker, Darren O’Shea, Dave O’Callaghan, Neil Cronin, Bill Johnston, Alex McHenry.
Benetton Rugby: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Ratuva Tavuyara, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Marco Zanon, 11 Monty Ioane, 10 Tommaso Allan (C), 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Toa Halafihi, 7 Abraham Steyn, 6 Sebastian Negri, 5 Federico Ruzza, 4 Irné Herbst, 3 Marco Riccioni, 2 Luca Bigi, 1 Nicola Quaglio.
Substitutes: 16 Hame Faiva, 17 Cherif Traore, 18 Simone Ferrari, 19 Marco Lazzaroni, 20 Giovanni Pettinelli, 21 Tito Tebaldi, 22 Antonio Rizzi, 23 Tommaso Iannone
Head coach: Kieran Crowley
Injured players: Ignacio Brex, Dean Budd, Marco Fuser, Ornel Gega, Nasi Manu, Luca Morisi, Alberto Sgarbi, Luca Sperandio, Federico Zani
Referee: Ben Whitehouse (WRU) AR1: Gianluca Gnecchi (FIR), AR2: Simon Rees (WRU) TMO:Stefano Roscini (FIR)