Munster v Sharks – Rugby Preview, Team News, Betting

The soon to depart Quinn Roux, pictured tackling Munster's Dave Kilcoyne when the sides met at the Sportsground in December 2019. Photo credit: Shane Tighe

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South African rugby giants travel to Limerick to face Munster in the opening round of the newly made United Rugby Championship

This match will kick off at 19:35 on Saturday, 25th September in Thomond Park with Craig Evans officiating and John Mason on TMO.

The match will be shown live on RTE 2, Premier Sports, and URC TV.

The Munster squad is buzzing with the return of RG Snyman after an injury as he currently lines up on the bench. The team will also be happy to have their prodigal son Simon Zebo returning to the starting lineup for his second competitive debut for the provincial side.

The team’s only concern is that they have not been battle-hardened after their challenge game against Bath was canceled earlier this month.

The Sharks’ team will including a few familiar faces for Irish fans as former Munster lock Gerbrandt Grobler and Thomas de Toit are set to feature with ex-Ulster scrum-half Ruan Pienaar. They also have Clare man Noel McNamara in their backroom staff.

The squad is in decent form after losing the Currie Cup final to the Bulls two weeks ago.

In what is the first competitive match held in Thomond Park with a crowd in 19 months, this will also be the first competitive meeting between Sharks and Munster.

Predicted Starting Teams

Munster Rugby

Starting 15

1. Dave Kilcoyne, 2. Niall Scannell, 3. John Ryan, 4. Jean Kleyn, 5. Fineen Wycherley, 6. Peter O’Mahony (C), 7. Jack O’Donoghue, 8. Gavin Coombes, 9. Craig Casey, 10. Joey Carbery, 11. Simon Zebo, 12. Rory Scannell, 13. Dan Goggin, 14. Andrew Conway, 15. Mike Haley.

Replacements

Diarmuid Barron, Jeremy Loughman, Keynan Knox, RG Snyman, Thomas Ahern, Rowan Osborne, Ben Healy, Chris Cloete.

 

Cell C Sharks

Predicted Starting 15

1.Khwezi Mona, 2.Kerron Van Vuuren, 3.Thomas du Toit, 4.Le Roux Roets, 5.Gerbrandt Grobler, 6.Dylan Richardson, 7.Henco Venter, 8.Phepsi Buthelezi (C), 9.Ruan Pienaar, 10.Boeta Chamberlain, 11.Thaakir Abrahams, 12.Marius Louw, 13.Werner Kok, 14.Yaw Penxe, 15.Curwin Bosch

Replacements:

16. Fez Mbatha 17.Ntuthuko Mchunu 18.Khutha Mchunu, 19.Hyron Andrews 20.Ruben Van Heerden 21.Mpilo Gumede, 22. Sanele Nohamba 23. Jeremy Ward

Betting

Match Odds

Munster Rugby 1/40

Draw 75/1

Cell C Sharks 18/1

Handicap Betting

Munster Rugby (-27) 10/11

Draw (-27) 22/1

Sharks (+27) 10/11

 

Score Prediction

Munster are the clear favorites for this tie, even without including the immense support that they will be shown by the Thomond Park faithful. The Sharks will not go down easily but the Reds will run out victors on Saturday evening.

Expect the game to end with Munster winning by around 15 points with general comfort in the closing minutes.

To read more in-depth and comprehensive rugby news, click here.

 

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