Munster Rugby will be in France on Sunday for a record 13th European Champions Cup semi-final when they play Racing 92, with the French side hoping to become the 12th club to inscribe their name on the trophy.
Head Coach Johann van Graan has made nine changes to his starting team for his side’s game at Stade Chaban-Delmas in Bordeaux, the scene of the southern province’s famous 31-25 win over French powerhouse Toulouse at the semi-final stage 18 years ago.
‘Moyross Magician’ Keith Earls will make his 150th appearance in the red jersey as he returns from injury. The Limerick player is named on the right wing with Alex Wootton on the opposite side. The impressive Andrew Conway maintains his place in the starting line-up as he moves to full-back.
Sammy Arnold and the returning Rory Scannell resume their partnership in the centre while Ian Keatley and Conor Murray are named as the half-backs.
The Munster Rugby front row will consist of Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell and Stephen Archer, with Jean Kleyn and Billy Holland the second-row pairing.
The back row forwards are club captain Peter O’Mahony, Waterford’s Jack O’Donoghue and Ireland international CJ Stander.
James Hart, JJ Hanrahan and Simon Zebo provide the backline cover from the bench, while Rhys Marshall, James Cronin and John Ryan will be the replacement front row.
South African Gerbrandt Grobler and Connacht-bound Robin Copeland complete the forward replacements.
15. Andrew Conway. 14. Keith Earls, 13. Sammy Arnold, 12. Rory Scannell, 11. Alex Wootton, 10. Ian Keatley, 9. Conor Murray.
1. Dave Kilcoyne, 2. Niall Scannell, 3. Stephen Archer, 4. Jean Kleyn, 5. Billy Holland, 6. Peter O’Mahony (captain), 7. Jack O’Donoghue, 8. CJ Stander.
16. Rhys Marshall, 17. James Cronin, 18. John Ryan, 19. Gerbrandt Grobler, 20. Robin Copeland, 21. James Hart, 22. JJ Hanrahan, 23. Simon Zebo.