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Published: 12:13 | 16/9/16

Earls returns for Munster


There are six changes to the Munster side that were beaten by Cardiff for the trip to Newport Gwent Dragons on Saturday.

Conor Murray and Keith Earls return to the starting XV, while Donnacha Ryan and CJ Stander make their first starts of the season.

Murray is joined by Tyler Bleyendaal in the half-backs, while Earls takes his place in midfield alongside Dan Goggin. The back three of Ronan O'Mahony, Darren Sweetnam and Andrew Conway is retained.

James Cronin, Niall Scannell and John Ryan take their place in the front row again with Jean Kleyn locking down with Ryan in the second row.

Captain Billy Holland moves to blindside flanker as Jack O'Donoghue move to openside and Stander takes his place at number 8.

Munster (XV v Newport Gwent Dragons): A Conway; D Sweetnam, K Earls, D Goggin, R O'Mahony; T Bleyendaal, C Murray; J Cronin, N Scannell, J Ryan; J Kleyn, D Ryan; B Holland, J O'Donoghue, CJ Stander.

Replacements: D Casey, D Kilcoyne, B Scott, D O'Callaghan, C Oliver, D Williams, I Keatley, C O'Shea.

The Connacht team to face Zebre features six changes to the one that lined out against Ospreys last weekend.

Bundee Aki and Eoin Griffin swap positions in midfield while Cian Kelleher starts on the wing to join Niyi Adeolokun and Tiernan O'Halloran in the back three. Caolin Blade returns at scrum-half to partner Jack Carty.

Denis Buckley returns from injury at loose head prop with JP Cooney getting the nod in place of Finlay Bealham, who has been ruled out through illness.

Lewis Stevenson and Andrew Browne take their place in the second row, while Eoin McKeon, James Connolly and John Muldoon start in the back row.

Connacht (XV v Zebre): T O'Halloran; N Adeolokun, B Aki, E Griffin, C Kelleher; J Carty, C Blade; D Buckley, T McCartney, JP Cooney, L Stevenson, A Browne, E McKeon, J Connolly, J Muldoon.

Replacements: D Heffernan, R Loughney, C Carey, U Dillane, R Moloney, K Marmion, S O'Leary, M Healy.

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