O’Mahony recovery a boost for Munster 

Team captain Peter O'Mahony returns for Munster's URC semi-final against Leinster.

CAPTAIN Peter O’Mahony and Diarmuid Barron have shrugged off respective elbow and shoulder injuries to be named on the Munster team for tomorrow’s (Saturday) URC semi-final against Leinster at the Aviva Stadium, 5.30pm. 

There are four personnel changes and two positional switches to the side that won away to Glasgow Warriors in last week’s quarter-final. 

Keith Earls has recovered from a groin problem and makes his first start since his 200th Munster appearance against Sharks last month.

Craig Casey, Ben Healy and John Hodnett also come into the team with Tadhg Beirne moving into the second row as Jack Crowley starts at inside centre.

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

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Casey and Healy start in the half-backs with Crowley and Antoine Frisch forming the centre partnership.

Jeremy Loughman, Barron and Stephen Archer pack down in an unchanged front row.

Jean Kleyn and Beirne start in the engine room with O’Mahony, Hodnett and Gavin Coombes completing the starting XV. 

Jack O’Donoghue, Neil Cronin and Rory Scannell join the squad as replacements.

In player news, Munster confirmed that scrum-half Neil Cronin has signed a contract extension until the end of January 2024.

Cronin has made 37 Munster appearances since making his debut for the province as a Garryowen player against Leinster on St Stephen’s Day in 2014.

He signed his first contract with Munster in 2018 after continuing to impress with Garryowen in the AIL.

Munster: Mike Haley; Keith Earls, Antoine Frisch, Jack Crowley, Shane Daly; Ben Healy, Craig Casey; Jeremy Loughman, Diarmuid Barron, Stephen Archer; Jean Kleyn, Tadhg Beirne; Peter O’Mahony (captain), John Hodnett, Gavin Coombes.

Replacements: Niall Scannell, Josh Wycherley, Roman Salanoa, Fineen Wycherley, Jack O’Donoghue, Neil Cronin, Rory Scannell, Alex Kendellen.