Munster kick off their new Pro14 campaign on Saturday in Wales against Scarlets just four weeks after suffering semi-final defeat to Leinster in last season’s competition. The province’s tactics in that 13-3 defeat may have been criticised by many but coach Johann Van Graan is convinced they can do a much better job in 2020-2021
“We’d like to believe as a coaching group that we are a lot better equipped because of the time we’ve had together,” van Graan said yesterday.
— Munster Rugby (@Munsterrugby) September 29, 2020
Murray Misses Out
Conor Murray will miss out on the province’s visit to Parc y Scarlets which could give 21 year old Craig Casey the opportunity to start at scrum half for the club.
Casey is expected to be rewarded for the improvements he has made in pushing Murray for the No 9 shirt and van Graan wants to see further pressure put on his senior players.
Kilcoyne Blow but Conway Returns
Dave Kilcoyne who injured his ankle in the first game back after the restart is in a similar position to international teammate Murray in that he will miss Saturday’s game, and is doubtful for the Edinburgh game as well.
Joey Carbery will definitely miss out, while full back Shane Daly is a doubt with a thigh injury and will undergo a scan for further assessment.
In good news though Andrew Conway is available for the game after completing his return to play protocols after a concussion.
The Munster side has been named for Saturday’s Guinness PRO14 opener against Scarlets in Wales (3pm — live on eir Sport, TG4 & Premier Sports).
In the back three, full-back Mike Haley and Darren Sweetnam make their first PRO14 appearances since February with Andrew Conway starting on the right wing.
Damian de Allende and Chris Farrell form the centre partnership with Craig Casey and JJ Hanrahan in the half-backs.
James Cronin, Rhys Marshall and John Ryan pack down in the front row with Jean Kleyn and Tadhg Beirne, who faces his former side for the first time, in the second row.
Captain Peter O’Mahony, Jack O’Donoghue and CJ Stander complete the starting XV.
Greencore Munster Rugby Academy out-half Ben Healy is among the replacements.
Munster: Mike Haley; Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Damian de Allende, Darren Sweetnam; JJ Hanrahan, Craig Casey; James Cronin, Rhys Marshall, John Ryan; Jean Kleyn, Tadhg Beirne; Peter O’Mahony (C), Jack O’Donoghue, CJ Stander.
Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, Jeremy Loughman, Stephen Archer, Fineen Wycherley, Gavin Coombes, Neil Cronin, Ben Healy, Rory Scannell.
Upcoming Media Schedule
As always the weekly schedule will confirm details. Guinness PRO14 Round 2 v Edinburgh – Tuesday, October 6.
Accreditation details for the above game will be sent once confirmed.