Crunch URC fixture for improving Munster

Niall Scannell who captains Munster in their URC game in Italy tomorrow.

MUNSTER can leapfrog Benetton in the URC table with victory at Stadio Monigo in Treviso tomorrow.

Graham Rowntree’s team currently sit in seventh spot (the last qualifying place for the Champions Cup) on 32 points, just a single point adrift of tomorrow’s opponents. However, there are plenty of others also breathing down their necks, such as leading Welsh side Cardiff.

The table is headed by unbeaten Leinster, followed then by DHL Stormers, Vodacom Bulls, Ulster, and Glasgow Warriors.

Munster are currently without internationals Tadhg Beirne, Craig Casey, Gavin Coombes, Jack Crowley, Keith Earls, Dave Kilcoyne, Conor Murray and Peter O’Mahony. Prospective Scottish international Ben Healy, however, is named amongst the replacements this weekend.

Niall Scannell captains a Munster XV that features plenty of personal changes from that which lost narrowly at Toulouse on Sunday.

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Joey Carberry will make his 50th appearance for the club, while Fineen Wycherley makes a welcome return from a lengthy injury lay-off.

Munster: Shane Daly; Calvin Nash, Antoine Frisch, Malakai Fekitoa, Liam Coombes; Joey Carbery, Paddy Patterson; Josh Wycherley, Niall Scannell (captain), Roman Salanoa; Jean Kleyn, Fineen Wycherley; Jack O’Sullivan, John Hodnett, Alex Kendellen.

Replacements: Diarmuid Barron, Mark Donnelly, Stephen Archer, Cian Hurley, Ruadhan Quinn, Neil Cronin, Ben Healy, Rory Scannell.

After this weekend, Munster have a break until Ospreys visit Thomond Park in the URC on February 17, with then just two fixtures against Scarlets (Musgrave Park) and Glasgow Warriors listed for across March.

The last-16 Heineken Champions Cup tie with Cell C Sharks at Kings Park, Durban is confirmed for Saturday, April 1 with a 12.30pm (Irish time) kick-off.

Tomorrow’s game in Treviso kicks off at 2.30pm with live coverage on TG4.