Munster Head Coach Johann van Graan has named CJ Stander as captain for his side’s Guinness Pro14 game with Zebre this evening at Thomond Park, with a 7.45pm kick-off.
The South African-born coach makes a total of seven changes to the side that played Scarlets three weeks ago, with Alex Wootton, JJ Hanrahan, Stephen Archer, Darren O’Shea, Jack O’Donoghue, Chris Cloete and Stander, who is back from Ireland international duty, all set to start the game.
Mike Haley is chosen at full-back with Darren Sweetnam and Wootton on the wings.
Rory Scannell and Dan Goggin will continue their partnership in the centre with Alby Mathewson and Hanrahan named in the half-backs.
Munster’s front row tonight will consist of Jeremy Loughman, Rhys Marshall and Stephen Archer, with Fineen Wycherley moving to the second row to partner Darren O’Shea.
The back row named by van Graan is O’Donoghue, who is returning from a knee injury, Cloete and Stander.
South African Tyler Bleyendaal, who has been named among the Munster Rugby replacements, is set to make his 50th appearance for the southern province.
Ireland internationals Niall Scannell, John Ryan and Chris Farrell are named on the bench, while Liam O’Connor, Jean Kleyn, Arno Botha, Duncan Williams complete the Munster matchday squad.
Munster Rugby Team:
- 15. Mike Haley, 14. Darren Sweetnam, 13. Dan Goggin, 12. Rory Scannell, 11. Alex Wootton, 10. JJ Hanrahan, 9. Alby Mathewson.
- 1. Jeremy Loughman, 2. Rhys Marshall, 3. Stephen Archer, 4. Fineen Wycherley, 5. Darren O’Shea, 6. Jack O’Donoghue, 7. Chris Cloete, 8. CJ Stander (captain).
Munster Rugby Replacements:
16. Niall Scannell, 17. Liam O’Connor, 18. John Ryan, 19. Jean Kleyn, 20. Arno Botha, 21. Duncan Williams, 22. Tyler Bleyendaal, 23. Chris Farrell.