THERE will be a big contingent from Clonakilty RFC and Rosscarbery at this evening’s Guinness PRO14 game at Musgrave Park to cheer on John Hodnett who makes his first start for Munster tonight in the back-row.
Head Coach Johann van Graan has put a very experienced side out with no fewer than eight Irish capped players in his starting lineup.
He hands a first start to first year Greencore player Hodnett but has put two experienced players in there with him in Jack O’Donoghue, returned from Irish camp to get game time, and Arno Botha.
Rosscarbery man Hodnett is a product of Clonakilty RFC and has seen plenty of action in the AIL this season with UCC.
Four of the five players in the engine room have been capped for Ireland with Fineen Wycherley the odd man out. He partners Billy Holland behind a front row made up of James Cronin, Niall Scannell and John Ryan.
Van Graan has plenty of pace out the back if that pack secure good ball with full-back Mike Haley, Calvin Nash and Shane Daly all in the backfield.
Dan Goggin and Chris Farrell are named as the centre partnership with Rory Scannell in reserve while Neil Cronin and JJ Hanrahan start at nine and 10.
Two Academy players are among the replacements, prop Keynan Knox and out-half Ben Healy and if the game goes according to plan then that pair should see some game time in the second half as van Graan tries to get game minutes into his younger players.
MUNSTER: Mike Haley; Calvin Nash, Chris Farrell, Dan Goggin, Shane Daly; JJ Hanrahan, Neil Cronin; James Cronin, Niall Scannell, John Ryan; Fineen Wycherley, Billy Holland (C); Jack O’Donoghue, John Hodnett, Arno Botha.
Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, Jeremy Loughman, Keynan Knox, Gavin Coombes, Chris Cloete, Nick McCarthy, Ben Healy, Rory Scannell.