After European disappointment, Munster will go full tilt in the derby

After European disappointment, Munster will go full tilt in the derby
Niall Scannell of Munster in action against Titi Lamositele of Saracens. Picture: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

MUNSTER head coach Johann van Graan is going for broke in his attempt to secure a home semi-final in the PRO.

He has named a very strong side for tonight’s clash with Connacht at Thomond Park, 7.35pm.

While his side still needs a favour from Edinburgh who play leaders Glasgow, van Graan is determined to make sure his side have a fighting chance by winning their game.

That will be a tough task as they will face a very experience Connacht side.

He has made just four changes to the side which were beaten by Saracens last weekend, with Dan Goggin, Calvin Nash, Stephen Archer and Chris Cloete all starting.

Nash makes a welcome return to action while Cloete’s work at the breakdown and in the maul could prove crucial this evening. Ever-present Mike Haley starts at full-back with Andrew Conway and Nash on the wings.

Goggin partners Chris Farrell in the centres with Rory Scannell getting a deserved rest. Sammy Arnold should also see a return to action as he is named on the bench.

The half-back pairing is again Conor Murray and Tyler Bleyendaal, with Munster not ready to risk Joey Carbery this week.

Dave Kilcoyne and Niall Scannell pack down in the front row with Archer as locks Jean Kleyn and Tadhg Beirne keep their places.

Peter O’Mahony captains the side from the back row with Cloete and CJ Stander completing the starting 15.

MUNSTER: Mike Haley; Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Dan Goggin, Calvin Nash; Tyler Bleyendaal, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell, Stephen Archer; Jean Kleyn, Tadhg Beirne; Peter O’Mahony (c), Chris Cloete, CJ Stander.

Replacements: Rhys Marshall, Jeremy Loughman, John Ryan, Billy Holland, Arno Botha, Neil Cronin, JJ Hanrahan, Sammy Arnold.

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