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Tommy O’Donnell to captain Munster in final pre-season clash against Connacht

Munster Head Coach Johann van Graan has named an extended squad for Saturday’s pre-season clash against Connacht at the Sportsground (3pm).

The game is Munster’s second pre-season clash following last week’s 45-5 victory over London Irish.

The Guinness PRO14 kicks off at Thomond Park on Saturday week as Dragons visit Limerick for a 3pm kick-off. See ticket details here.

Tommy O’Donnell captains Munster in Galway with seven Academy players included. Alex McHenry and Keynan Knox both keep their starting places in the starting XV with fellow Academy men Jack O’Sullivan, Jack Stafford, Liam Coombes, Jonathan Wren and Alan Tynan among the replacements.

Wren and Tynan are in line to make their senior debuts off the bench.

Mike Haley starts at full-back with Darren Sweetnam and Shane Daly on either flank.

Rory Scannell and McHenry pair up in the centres as Nick McCarthy, on his first Munster start, teams up with JJ Hanrahan in the half-backs.

James Cronin made a welcome return from injury against London Irish last week and packs down in the front row with Kevin O’Byrne and Knox.

Darren O’Shea and Fineen Wycherley start in the second row as Arno Botha, O’Donnell and Jack O’Donoghue complete the side.

Munster: Mike Haley; Darren Sweetnam, Alex McHenry, Rory Scannell, Shane Daly; JJ Hanrahan, Nick McCarthy; James Cronin, Kevin O’Byrne, Keynan Knox; Darren O’Shea, Fineen Wycherley; Arno Botha, Tommy O’Donnell (C), Jack O’Donoghue.

Replacements from: Rhys Marshall, Liam O’Connor, Jeremy Loughman, Stephen Archer, Billy Holland, Seán O’Connor, Gavin Coombes, Paddy Butler, Conor Oliver, Jack O’Sullivan, Alby Mathewson, Neil Cronin, Jack Stafford, Tyler Bleyendaal, Liam Coombes, Jonathan Wren, Alan Tynan.

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