Pro14: Munster v Ospreys (Fri)


Ospreys beat Cheetahs in their previous Pro14 outing
Guinness Pro14: Munster v Ospreys
Venue: Irish Independent Park, Cork Date: Friday, 14 September Kick-off: 19:35 BST
Coverage: Live score updates and match report on the BBC Sport website

Ospreys make 12 changes for Friday’s Pro14 game away to Munster in Cork.

Only Sam Davies, Tom Williams and Tom Botha survive from the side who defeated Cheetahs 46-14 last weekend.

Captain Justin Tipuric, plus Wales colleagues Alun Wyn Jones, George North and Aled Davies are rested.

Munster make 11 changes from the defeat by Glasgow at Scotstoun with Peter O’Mahony and Andrew Conway making their first starts of the season and Joey Carbery and Tadhg Beirne their debuts.

In addition to the inclusion of the four Ireland internationals, flanker Chris Cloete makes a welcome return in the back row, having been out of action since February due to forearm and groin injuries.

Dan Goggin comes in at inside centre and it’s all change in the front five as James Cronin, Rhys Marshall and Stephen Archer come into the front row.

Darren O’Shea joins Beirne in the second row, while in the back row Arno Botha is the only forward to keep his place in the side.

Ospreys centre Scott Williams has a hamstring tear while fly-half Luke Price is a long-term absentee after a leg break, but prop Nicky Smith has come through concussion protocols to make the bench.

Full-back Dan Evans also came through his head injury assessment but is rested. Flanker Olly Cracknell captains the side.

Ospreys head coach Allen Clarke explained his decision to rest so many of his top players.

“Squad management is important but so too is player opportunity,” said Clarke.

“Selection represents what we’ve observed throughout pre-season and provides individuals an opportunity to be tested against a quality team.

“The players coming in have earned our trust and the right to wear the shirt and fully understand the level of performance expected of them on Friday night.

“It’s important for us to show progress and grow collectively, recognising the tests ahead and the demands of the season schedule.”

Ospreys have won their opening two Pro14 matches, while Munster won their opener against Cheetahs but lost last time out at Glasgow.

Munster: Mike Haley; Andrew Conway, Sammy Arnold, Dan Goggin, Darren Sweetnam; Joey Carbery, Duncan Williams; James Cronin, Rhys Marshall, Stephen Archer; Tadhg Beirne, Darren O’Shea; Peter O’Mahony (capt), Chris Cloete, Arno Botha.

Replacements: Mike Sherry, Dave Kilcoyne, John Ryan, Jean Kleyn, Tommy O’Donnell, James Hart, Ian Keatley, Jaco Taute.

Ospreys: James Hook; Tom Williams, Joe Thomas, Cory Allen, Luke Morgan; Sam Davies, Tom Habberfield; Rhodri Jones, Scott Baldwin, Tom Botha, Giorgi Nemsadze, Adam Beard, Olly Cracknell (capt), Morgan Morris, Sam Cross.

Replacements: Ifan Phillips, Nicky Smith, Alex Jeffries, James Ratti, Guido Volpi, Matthew Aubrey, Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler, Hanno Dirksen.

Referee: Stuart Berry (SARU)

Assistant referees: Sean Gallagher (IRFU), Paul Haycock (IRFU)

TMO: Simon MacDowell (IRFU)

Source link