Out-half Joey Carbery has recovered from injury and is included in Munster's squad to face Leinster at Thomond Park
THE Munster team to face Leinster at a sold-out Thomond Park on tomorrow, Saturday December 28, at 6pm has been named by head coach Johann van Graan.
Billy Holland captains the side with seven changes to the team that defeated Connacht at the Sportsground in Galway last week.
Mike Haley, Sammy Arnold, Rory Scannell, Nick McCarthy, Fineen Wycherley, Tommy O’Donnell and Jack O’Donoghue all start with Joey Carbery set to make his first Munster appearance of the season off the bench.
There are three Greencore Munster Rugby Academy players named among the replacements – Diarmuid Barron, Keynan Knox and Jack O’Sullivan.
Haley starts at full-back with Dan Goggin and Shane Daly named on either flank. Goggin, who has previously played on the wing as a replacement, starts as a winger for the province for the first time.
Scannell and Arnold pair up in the centres with McCarthy and JJ Hanrahan, Man of the Match last week, in the half-backs.
Dave Kilcoyne, Kevin O’Byrne and Stephen Archer pack down in an unchanged front row.
Wycherley and Holland start in the engine room with O’Donnell, Chris Cloete and O’Donoghue completing the side.
In keeping with previous years, the fixture has been nominated as Munster Rugby’s official Charity Match.
During half-time, representatives from the Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation and the Peter McVerry Trust will each be presented with a signed Munster jersey on the pitch.
€1 from each match programme sold will be donated to the respective charities.
The game sold out three weeks in advance of the fixture taking place
With extra seating installed at the match venue an attendance of 26,267 will flock to Thomond Park for the big Festive derby.
MUNSTER: Mike Haley; Dan Goggin, Sammy Arnold, Rory Scannell, Shane Daly; JJ Hanrahan, Nick McCarthy; Dave Kilcoyne, Kevin O’Byrne, Stephen Archer; Fineen Wycherley, Billy Holland (Capt); Tommy O’Donnell, Chris Cloete, Jack O’Donoghue. Replacements: Diarmuid Barron, Jeremy Loughman, Keynan Knox, Darren O’Shea, Jack O’Sullivan, Neil Cronin, Joey Carbery, Calvin Nash.
LEINSTER: Hugo Keenan; Adam Byrne, Jimmy O’Brien, Conor O’Brien, James Lowe; Ross Byrne, Jamison Gibson-Park; Ed Byrne, James Tracy, Andrew Porter; Devin Toner, Scott Fardy (Capt); Josh Murphy, Will Connors, Caelan Doris. Replacements: Seán Cronin, Peter Dooley, Jack Aungier, Ross Molony, Scott Penny, Rowan Osborne, Ciarán Frawley, Tommy O’Brien.