MUNSTER are back in Monday night action for the Guinness PRO14 game against Zebre at Thomond Park, 8.15pm, live on eir Sport 1 and Premier Sports 2.
Head coach Johann van Graan includes five Greencore Munster Rugby Academy players in his match day 23. Prop Josh Wycherley makes his second start of the campaign while Thomas Ahern, Jack Daly, Ben Healy and Seán French are named in the replacements.
Both Daly and French will make their Guinness PRO14 debuts if called upon.
In making eight changes to the side that secured an away bonus-point win against Glasgow Chris Cloete returns from neck injury to make his second start of the season. He and Jack O’Donoghue flank Gavin Coombes in the back row. Coombes makes his fifth start in a row after back-to-back Guinness Player of the Match performances.
Fineen Wycherley makes the positional move to the second row alongside captain Billy Holland while younger brother Josh and hooker Rhys Marshall join Stephen Archer in the front row.
The half-back pairing switches up this week with Nick McCarthy making his first start of the season as JJ Hanrahan returns to the number ten jersey.
There is a new centre pairing with Dan Goggin lining up outside Damian de Allende, as winger Darren Sweetnam is added to the left wing with Calvin Nash continuing on the opposite flank.
Matt Gallagher moves to full back.
Prop Liam O’Connor returns from a calf injury to take his place on the bench for his first inclusion since December 2019, while Cloete returns in the back row alongside in-form rising star Gavin Coombes and the west Cork Wycherely brothers, Josh and Fineen.
Zebre are missing 20 players due to international call-ups and include seven players from the Italian championship in their match-day squad (five are on debut) Zebre’s Oliviero Fabiani will make his 100th Guinness PRO14 appearance if he comes on as a replacement
Matt Gallagher; Calvin Nash, Dan Goggin, Damian de Allende, Darren Sweetnam; JJ Hanrahan, Nick McCarthy; Josh Wycherley, Rhys Marshall, Stephen Archer; Fineen Wycherley, Billy Holland (c); Jack O’Donoghue, Chris Cloete, Gavin Coombes.
Diarmuid Barron, Liam O’Connor, Keynan Knox, Thomas Ahern, Jack Daly, Craig Casey, Ben Healy, Seán French.