De Allende on board as Munster travel to South Africa

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THE Munster travelling party departed Ireland for South Africa on Sunday ahead of the province’s upcoming two-game tour in the United Rugby Championship.

Munster face the Vodacom Bulls in Pretoria this Saturday at 2.05pm Irish time (4.05pm local).

Johann van Graan’s side will then take on the Emirates Lions the following Saturday (March 19) in Johannesburg at noon Irish time (2pm local).

4 September 2021; Munster head coach Johann van Graan before a challenge match between Munster XV Red and Munster XV Grey at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Jack O’Donoghue will captain the 33-player travelling squad that includes six members of the Greencore Munster Rugby Academy.

Academy forwards Scott Buckley (hooker), Mark Donnelly (prop), Cian Hurley (lock), Eoin O’Connor (lock) and Alex Kendellen (back row) travel along with scrum-half Paddy Patterson.

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Shannon RFC’s Aran Hehir, who joined the squad as scrum-half cover in recent weeks, is also included in the travelling squad.

A positive step for Damian de Allende sees the centre travel with the squad to South Africa as he recovers from an abdomen injury.

Jeremy Loughman did not travel having been called up to the Ireland senior squad for the first time with Craig Casey and Gavin Coombes returning to international camp.

Forwards (17): Stephen Archer, Diarmuid Barron, Scott Buckley, Chris Cloete, Mark Donnelly, John Hodnett, Cian Hurley, Alex Kendellen, Jean Kleyn, Keynan Knox, Eoin O’Connor, Jack O’Donoghue (C), Jack O’Sullivan, John Ryan, Niall Scannell, Fineen Wycherley, Josh Wycherley.

Backs (16): Liam Coombes, Neil Cronin, Jack Crowley, Shane Daly, Damian de Allende, Chris Farrell, Jake Flannery, Matt Gallagher, Dan Goggin, Mike Haley, Ben Healy, Aran Hehir, Calvin Nash, Paddy Patterson, Rory Scannell, Simon Zebo.

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