Published: 12:58 | 4/3/21

Munster and Connacht name strong sides

Both Munster and Connacht have named strong sides for their crucial PRO14 clash at Thomond Park tomorrow night (LIVE on eir sport 1 from 7pm).

Munster have made eight changes from the side that started the win in Cardiff last weekend, while the visitors have made seven from their last gasp victory over Benetton in Treviso.

Stephen Archer makes his 224th appearance for Munster to overtake Marcus Horan and move into fifth place on the province's record appearance holders list.

Billy Holland returns to captain the side, with Ben Healy coming in to partner Craig Casey in the half-back line.

The back three comprises Mike Haley, Andrew Conway and Shane Daly with Rory Scannell and Chris Farrell in midfield.

James Cronin, Niall Scannell and Archer are named in the front row backed by Fineen Wycherley and Holland in the engine room.

Jack O’Donoghue, Chris Cloete and Coombes make up the back row.

Joey Carbery is again included on the bench after making his return from long-term injury last week.

Bundee Aki, Dave Heffernan and Ultan Dillane will all start for Connacht in a much-changed line-up following their release from Ireland duty.

Aki is named in the centre , with Heffernan at hooker and Dillane in the second row as Connacht look to extend the club away win record to five on the trot. 

Heffernan is joined by Denis Buckley and Finlay Bealham up front, with Gavin Thornbury partnering Dillane in the engine room.

Conor Oliver starts at openside flanker against his former club in a back row completed by Paul Boyle and skipper Jarrad Butler.

Caolin Blade and Jack Carty combine at half-back, with Matt Healy and John Porch coming in on the wings to complete the back line alongside Aki, Tom Daly and Tiernan O’Halloran.

Munster: Mike Haley, Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Rory Scannell, Shane Daly, Ben Healy, Craig Casey, James Cronin, Niall Scannell, Stephen Archer, Fineen Wycherley, Billy Holland (C), Jack O’Donoghue, Chris Cloete, Gavin Coombes.

Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, Jeremy Loughman, John Ryan, Jean Kleyn, Jack O’Sullivan, Nick McCarthy, Joey Carbery, Damien de Allende.

Connacht:  Tiernan O’Halloran, John Porch, Tom Daly, Bundee Aki, Matt Healy, Jack Carty, Caolin Blade

Denis Buckley,  Dave Heffernan, Finlay Bealham, Ultan Dillane, Gavin Thornbury, Jarrad Butler (C), Conor Oliver, Paul Boyle. 

Replacements: Shane Delahunt, Matthew Burke, Jack Aungier, Niall Murray, Eoghan Masterson, Kieran Marmion, Sean O’Brien, Alex Wootton.

Image: Sportsfile

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