Leinster v Munster – Starting teams, preview and betting advice

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We have the starting team, preview and betting advice for Leinster v Munster kick off 7:35pm Saturday  22nd August 2020.

Munster Team

It will be the side’s first game in six months with new signings Damian de Allende and RG Snyman both starting on their debuts for Munster.

Shane Daly makes his fifth start at full-back in his 18th appearance for the province with Ireland internationals Andrew Conway and Keith Earls on either flank.

De Allende is partnered in the centres by Chris Farrell with Conor Murray and JJ Hanrahan in the half-backs.

James Cronin, Niall Scannell and Stephen Archer start in the front row with Snyman and Billy Holland in the engine room.

The side is completed by the back row of captain Peter O’Mahony, Tommy O’Donnell and CJ Stander.

There are five forwards on the bench with Rhys Marshall, Dave Kilcoyne and John Ryan providing the front row back-up.

Lock Jean Kleyn and back-row Chris Cloete complete the forward cover.

Craig Casey, Rory Scannell and new signing Matt Gallagher, who is set to make his debut, are the backline replacements.

Head Coach Johann van Graan said: “It was a real squad effort the last nine weeks, everyone gave it their all.

“Unfortunately, we can only pick 23 players. There were a lot of close calls and that just shows the depth that we’ve created.

“With such a long season coming up, everybody wants to play the first game but there’s a lot of rugby to be played.

“We said all along that getting back to playing rugby on Saturday night is our sole objective.

“A few of the guys in isolation were very close to getting into the team and they worked really hard but obviously the fact they were in self-isolation ruled them out.

“They are training away at home and as soon as they come out of self-isolation, they will be available for selection again.”

Find out all you need to know ahead of the game here.

Munster: Shane Daly; Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Damian de Allende, Keith Earls; JJ Hanrahan, Conor Murray; James Cronin, Niall Scannell, Stephen Archer; RG Snyman, Billy Holland; Peter O’Mahony (C), Tommy O’Donnell, CJ Stander.

Replacements: Rhys Marshall, Dave Kilcoyne, John Ryan, Jean Kleyn, Chris Cloete, Craig Casey, Rory Scannell, Matt Gallagher.

Player Update

Jack O’Donoghue was not available for selection having sustained a concussion at training this week.

Leinster Team

The Leinster Rugby team, as sponsored by Bank of Ireland, to face Munster Rugby tomorrow in the Guinness PRO14 has been announced (KO 7.35pm – live on Eir Sport & RTÉ Radio).

This will be Leinster’s first game since the 28th February when they accounted for Glasgow Warriors at the RDS Arena and with Covid-19 restrictions still very much in place the game will be played behind closed doors at the Aviva Stadium.

With the Guinness PRO14 resuming this weekend with Round 14 matches, Leinster Rugby are currently on top of Conference A after 13 games with Ulster Rugby in second place. Munster Rugby, for their part, are second in Conference B only two points behind Edinburgh Rugby.

From their UCD base, Leinster Rugby Head Coach Leo Cullen has announced his 23 to face Munster Rugby.

Jordan Larmour, Dave Kearney and James Lowe have been selected as the back three with Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrose in the centre.

Johnny Sexton will captain the team with Luke McGrath alongside him.

In the pack Cian Healy and Andrew Porter start at loosehead and tighthead with Rónan Kelleher at hooker.

Ryan Baird is involved for the first time against Munster having previously played against Ulster (his debut in 2019) and Connacht. It is also his first start in an inter-provincial game. Baird will be joined by Scott Fardy in the second row.

In the back row, Caelan Doris starts at blindside flanker for the first time for Leinster, with Josh van der Flier at openside.

Finally, Jack Conan plays for the first time this season having recovered from an ankle injury picked up at the 2019 Rugby World Cup. His last game for Leinster was last season’s Guinness PRO14 Final.

Leinster Rugby (caps in brackets)

15. Jordan Larmour (46)
14. Dave Kearney (148)
13. Garry Ringrose (72)
12. Robbie Henshaw (44)
11. James Lowe (43)
10. Johnny Sexton (163) CAPTAIN
9. Luke McGrath (123)
1. Cian Healy (216)
2. Rónan Kelleher (11)
3. Andrew Porter (62)
4. Ryan Baird (7)
5. Scott Fardy (58)
6. Caelan Doris (29)
7. Josh van der Flier (80)
8. Jack Conan (89)

16. Seán Cronin (181)
17. Ed Byrne (52)
18. Michael Bent (135)
19. Devin Toner (244)
20. Will Connors (15)
21. Jamison Gibson-Park (88)
22. Ross Byrne (84)
23. Max Deegan (62)

Referee: Andrew Brace (IRFU)

Betting advice

Leinster -10 looks a great bet

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