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06th Apr 2024

Munster hit with late, triple blow ahead of crucial Northampton game

Patrick McCarry


Some serious rejigging to be done.

Munster have been pressed into three late changes ahead of their Last 16 clash against Northampton Saints, in the Champions Cup.

Graham Rowntree was already processing the fact that prop John Ryan would miss out on Sunday’s game away to Northampton Saints (12.30pm, live on TNT Sports & ITV). A Munster appeal against Ryan’s three-game ban, following the win over Cardiff, was rejected so academy player Mark Donnelly comes onto the replacements bench.

The latest set-backs, though, directly impact Munster’s starting XV. A statement from the reigning URC champs reads:

‘Shane Daly picked up a knock at training yesterday and has been ruled out with Seán O’Brien coming into the side on the right wing as Simon Zebo moves to the left wing. Academy winger Shay McCarthy joins the squad as a replacement.

‘RG Snyman has been ruled out by the medical team due to illness. Tom Ahern comes into the starting XV to partner captain Tadhg Beirne in the second row. Jack O’Donoghue joins the squad as a replacement.’


Antoine Frisch speculation, and updated Munster match-day squad

Antoine Frisch remains at outside centre for the game. This could well turn out to be his second and last season with the province after he declared he was set on playing Test rugby for France.

Three French clubs are reportedly vying for the signature of Frisch, ahead of next season, with Ronan O’Gara’s La Rochelle in a good position to add him to their impressive squad. We could see Jonathan Danty and Frisch lining up as Stade Rochelais centres, next season.

Those Munster changes see the the revised Munster match-day 23 look like this:

Munster: Mike Haley; Seán O’Brien, Antoine Frisch, Alex Nankivell, Simon Zebo; Jack Crowley, Craig Casey; Jeremy Loughman, Niall Scannell, Stephen Archer; Tom Ahern, Tadhg Beirne (C); Peter O’Mahony, John Hodnett, Gavin Coombes.

Replacements: Eoghan Clarke, Josh Wycherley, Mark Donnelly, Jack O’Donoghue, Alex Kendellen, Conor Murray, Joey Carbery, Shay McCarthy.

Among the Munster starting XV is Cork native, Gavin Coombes. The No.8 is eager to go deep in this competition and turn some heads among the national team set-up.

“I was obviously disappointed not to be involved [at the World Cup] and, again, not to be included in the Six Nations squad. It’s a huge motivating factor for me, to get there and add to my Irish caps.”


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