Munster roll out the big guns for Leinster clash

MUNSTER have announced their starting selection for the sold-out URC outing with Leinster at Thomond Park on St Stephen’s Day.

There are four personnel changes and one positional switch to the side that lost to Exeter Chiefs, with three Academy players in the 23-man squad.

Tighthead prop Oli Jager makes his first start for Munster on his third appearance for the province.

Dave Kilcoyne joins Jager in the front row on his first start of the campaign with Academy lock Edwin Edogbo returning from injury to take his place in the second row. It will be Edogbo’s seventh start of the campaign.

In the backline, Simon Zebo comes into the side at full-back for his second appearance of the season with Shane Daly moving to the left wing.

Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter

Calvin Nash keeps his place on the right wing with the centre and half-back partnerships unchanged.

Scrum-half Craig Casey and out-half Jack Crowley start together once again with Alex Nankivell and Antoine Frisch in midfield.

Hooker Diarmuid Barron captains the side and packs down with Kilcoyne and Jager in the front row.

Edogbo and Gavin Coombes partner up in the second row with Coombes set for his 10th appearance of the campaign having started all of Munster’s games so far this year.

The back row of Tom Ahern, John Hodnett and Jack O’Donoghue is unchanged.

Eoghan Clarke, Jeremy Loughman and Stephen Archer are the front row replacements with Academy back-row Brian Gleeson and Alex Kendellen completing the forward cover.

Paddy Patterson, Academy out-half Tony Butler, and Seán O’Brien are the backline replacements.

In line with IRFU player management guidelines, Tadhg Beirne and Conor Murray were unavailable for selection having featured in all five games since returning from international duty.

The duo also played in all five matches of Ireland’s Rugby World Cup campaign in France.

Munster: Simon Zebo; Calvin Nash, Antoine Frisch, Alex Nankivell, Shane Daly; Jack Crowley, Craig Casey; Dave Kilcoyne, Diarmuid Barron (captain), Oli Jager; Edwin Edogbo, Gavin Coombes; Tom Ahern, John Hodnett, Jack O’Donoghue.

Replacements: Eoghan Clarke, Jeremy Loughman, Stephen Archer, Brian Gleeson, Alex Kendellen, Paddy Patterson, Tony Butler, Seán O’Brien.