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Published: 12:50 | 12/1/18

Cloete and Holland return for Munster

Chris Cloete and Billy Holland have both returned to the Munster XV to face Racing Metro in the Champions Cup.

The openside and second row respectively came through return-to-play protocols to be named in the starting side for the clash with the 2016 finalists at the U Arena on Sunday, kick-off 3:15pm.

Both players had been suffering from impact collisions since the New Year's Day clash with Ulster at Kingspan Stadium; hooker Niall Scannell has also been sidelined since the Pro 14 derby clash and will not feature as he continues his recovery.

Stephen Archer joins Dave Kilcoyne and Rhys Marshall form the front-row union, with Holland alongside Jean Kleyn in the engine room. Peter O'Mahony and CJ Stander fill the other positions in the back row alongide Cloete.

Munster's backline remains an all-international one with soon-to-be Racing player Simon Zebo at fullback and Andrew Conway and Keith Earls on the flanks. Rory Scannell partners Chris Farrell in midfield, with Ian Keatley and Conor Murray maintaining the halfback partnership.

Munster: Simon Zebo,  Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Rory Scannell, Keith Earls, Ian Keatley, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Rhys Marshall, Stephen Archer, Jean Kleyn, Billy Holland, Peter O’Mahony (c), Chris Cloete, CJ Stander. 

Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, James Cronin, John Ryan, Darren O’Shea, Jack O’Donoghue, Duncan Williams, JJ Hanrahan, Alex Wootton.

The fifth round of the European Rugby Champions Cup takes place over the weekend of 12-14 January, and you can watch the best of the action on BT Sport on the eir Sport package. On Friday, 12 January, Premiership side Bath host Pro 14 side Scarlets at the Recreation Ground [BT Sport 2, kick-off 7.45pm], then on Saturday, 13 January, Premiership leaders Exeter Chiefs take on Top 14 side Montpellier at Sandy Park [BT Sport 2, kick-off 3.15pm], and Pro 14 side Ospreys meet Premiership side Saracens at the Liberty Stadium later the same evening [BT Sport 3, kick-off 7.45pm].

On Sunday, 14 January, Top 14 side Toulon take on Benetton at the Stade Felix Mayol [BT Sport 2, kick-off 2pm], while Top 14 side Castres host Premiership side Leicester Tigers at the Stade Pierre Fabre [BT Sport 2, kick-off 6.30pm].  

Image: Inpho/ Bryan Keane

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