Rassie Erasmus names strong side for Thursday’s preseason friendly with Worcester Warriors.
Munster travel with an extended match day squad of 27 players made up of senior and academy players.
Academy player Liam O’Connor is named in the front row alongside Rhys Marshall and Stephen Archer while in the second row, Jean Kleyn returns after recovering from a neck injury and is joined by fellow South African and new signing Gerbrandt Grobler who makes his debut for the province.
Billy Holland, Tommy O’Donnell and Jack O’Donoghue make up the back row with Duncan Williams and Tyler Bleyendaal (captain) resuming their partnership as halfbacks. In the midfield Jaco Taute will partner Chris Farrell of whom much is expected. One thing is for sure, Munster’s midfield will not want for bulk of size, but Farrell has much more to his armoury than brute force.
The back three represent the fruits of Munster’s academy system over the last few years with wingers Alex Wootton and Darren Sweetnam, and recently graduated fullback Stephen Fitzgerald all staring.
Newly recruited former Sale Sharks and England U20 prop Ciaran Parker is named amongst the replacements as is new man James Hart from Racing 92.
Mike Sherry returns following a long term back injury that has kept him sidelined for over a year. Also named on the bench are club players James Rochford (Dolphin) and Ronan Coffey (sub-academy and Shannon).
Munster: Stephen Fitzgerald, Darren Sweetnam, Chris Farrell, Jaco Taute, Alex Wootton; Tyler Bleyendaal – capt., Duncan Williams; Liam O’Connor, Rhys Marshall, Stephen Archer; Jean Kleyn, Gerbrandt Grobler; Billy Holland, Tommy O’Donnell, Jack O’Donoghue.
Replacements from: Mike Sherry, Brian Scott, James Rochford, Sean O’Connor, Ronan Coffey, Gavin Coombes, Sean McCarthy, James Hart, Ian Keatley, Dan Goggin, Ciaran Parker, David Johnston.
Worcester Warriors v Munster Rugby, Thursday August 24th at Sixways Stadium – ko 7.30pm.