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Published: 13:04 | 22/3/19

Stander to captain Munster

CJ Stander will captain Munster for the Guinness PRO14 clash against Zebre on Saturday night.

Stander featured in Ireland's disappointing Six Nations defeat to Wales last week, but having missed the games against Scotland and Italy through injury, he has been included in the starting XV to face Zebre at Thomond Park.

Head coach Johann van Graan has made seven changes to the side that lost to Scarlets with two of those coming in the back division.

Mike Haley is retained at full-back with Alex Wootten coming in on the wing, while Darren Sweetnam is once again named on the other wing. Dan Goggin and Rory Scannell once again team-up in midfield, with JJ Hanrahan coming in to join Alby Mathewson in the half-backs.

Chris Cloete returns to the back row alongside Stander and Jack O'Donoghue, who will be making his first start since last season. There is a new second row as Fineen Wycherley and Darren O'Shea are named in the engine room, while Jeremy Loughman, Rhys Marshall and Stephen Archer make-up the front row.

Munster (XV v Zebre): M Haley; D Sweetnam, D Goggin, R Scannell A Wootten; JJ Hanrahan, A Mathewson; J Loughman, R Marshall, S Archer, F Wycherley, D O'Shea, J O'Donoghue, C Cloete, CJ Stander.

Replacements: N Scannell, L O'Connor, J Ryan J Kleyn, A Botha, D Williams, T Bleyendaal, C Farrell.

Ulster welcome back Marcell Coetzee for the visit of Southern Kings to Kingspan Stadium on Saturday.

Coetzee has not featured for Ulster since the Heineken Champions Cup win away to Leicester but he takes his place in the back row alongside Matty Rea and Nick Timoney.

Alan O'Connor will captain the side from the second row where he is joined by Ian Nagle, while Andy Warwick, Rob Herring and Marty Moore make up the front row.

Louis Ludik starts at full-back as Robert Baloucoune and Rob Lyttle take their place on the wings. Darren Cave and Stuart McCloskey start in the centre with Billy Burns joining Dave Shanahan in the half-back line.

Ulster (XV v Southern Kings): L Ludik; R Baloucoune, D Cave, S McCloskey, R Lyttle; B Burns, D Shanahan; A Warwick, R Herring, M Moore, A O'Connor, I Nagle, M Rea, N Timoney, M Coetzee.

Replacements: J Andrew, W Herbst, T O'Toole K Treadwell, C Ross, J Cooney, M Lowry, A Kernohan.

Ulster play Southern Kings in the Guinness PRO14 on Saturday, 23 March [kick-off 5.30pm], while Munster host Zebre at Thomond Park [kick-off 7.45pm]. Both games are live on eir sport 1. Subscribe here

Image: Inpho Photography/Oisin Keniry

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