Munster name XV for visit of Dragons

Limerick's Craig Casey. Photo: Brendan Moran.

COACH Graham Rowntree has made seven changes to the side which drew with Benetton at the weekend for the visit of Dragons in the United Rugby Championship to Musgrave Park on Saturday, 5.15pm.

Summer additions Alex Nankivell and Seán O’Brien make their first appearances for the province with Nankivell at outside centre and O’Brien on the wing.

Academy out-half Tony Butler also makes his first competitive start and is partnered by returning Ireland international Craig Casey in the half-backs.

Three changes to the pack see John Ryan, Tom Ahern and Alex Kendellen come into the side with Ryan making his first start since returning from the Chiefs.

Seven Academy players are included as Butler, Kieran Ryan and Edwin Edogbo all start with Mark Donnelly, Ruadhán Quinn, Brian Gleeson and Ben O’Connor among the replacements.

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If he features, O’Connor will make his senior Munster debut after joining the Academy in the summer. He has been lining out for UCC in the AIL this season and was a Pinergy Munster Schools Boys Senior Cup winner with PBC in March, he also won an U20s All-Ireland title in hurling with Cork last summer.

Returning international Jack Crowley is included among the replacements after rejoining squad training ahead of the game.

Shane Daly starts at full-back with O’Brien and Calvin Nash on either wing.

Rory Scannell and Nankivell pair up in midfield with Casey and Butler in the half-backs.

Kieran Ryan, Diarmuid Barron and John Ryan pack down in the front row with Edogbo and Ahern in the engine room.

Captain Jack O’Donoghue, Kendellen and Gavin Coombes complete the side.

Scott Buckley, Mark Donnelly and Stephen Archer provide the front row back-up as RuadhánQuinn and Brian Gleeson complete the forward cover.

Paddy Patterson, Jack Crowley and Ben O’Connor are the backline replacements.

In injury news, after undergoing a scan on the wrist injury he sustained against Benetton, Joey Carbery will visit a specialist for surgery next week.

Munster: Shane Daly; Seán O’Brien, Alex Nankivell, Rory Scannell, Calvin Nash; Tony Butler, Craig Casey; Kieran Ryan, Diarmuid Barron, John Ryan; Edwin Edogbo, Tom Ahern; Jack O’Donoghue (captain), Alex Kendellen, Gavin Coombes.

Replacements: Scott Buckley, Mark Donnelly, Stephen Archer, Ruadhán Quinn, Brian Gleeson, Paddy Patterson, Jack Crowley, Ben O’Connor.