Rugby – Munster ring changes for meeting with Dragons

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Screen shot 2015-12-04 at 13.45.00MUNSTER Head Coach Anthony Foley has made ten changes to the side that lost to Connacht in naming his side for Sunday’s clash at Newport-Gwent Dragons. Denis Hurley is named as captain while Niall and Rory Scannell will become the first brothers to start together for Munster in the PRO12.

Niall Scannell remains at hooker with Dave Kilcoyne and John Ryan returning to the front row while Dave Foley resumes his partnership with Mark Chisholm in the second row. Two changes in the back row see blindside flanker Shane Buckley make his first start of the season with Dave O’Callaghan returning at openside and Robin Copeland remaining in situ at number 8. Tomás O’Leary continues at scrum-half and the selection of Rory Scannell at 10 for the first time in the current campaign completes an all-Dolphin RFC half-back pairing.

Scannell is one of two academy players included for this weekend’s encounter with David Johnston starting alongside captain Denis Hurley for the second time this season.

Simon Zebo and Ronan O’Mahony return to the back-three on the left and right wing respectively with Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino switching to full-back.

Having successfully rehabbed a quad strain, Tyler Bleyendaal is named on the bench.

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On the injury front, the medical team reported positive results after Francis Saili’s scan for a calf strain this week and the centre is expected to return to training next week, while BJ Botha continues to follow return to play protocols after sustaining a concussion against Connacht last Saturday.

Both Andrew Conway and Jack O’Donoghue were not available for selection due to illness as Conor Murray and Donnacha Ryan both manage respective foot and rib injuries.

Munster: Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, Ronan O’Mahony, David Johnston, Denis Hurley Capt., Simon Zebo; Rory Scannell, Tomás O’Leary; Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell, John Ryan; Dave Foley, Mark Chisholm; Shane Buckley, Dave O’Callaghan, Robin Copeland.

Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, James Cronin, Mario Sagario, Billy Holland, Jordan Coghlan, Cathal Sheridan, Tyler Bleyendaal, Gerhard van den Heever.