Munster Rugby’s Head Coach Johann van Graan makes four changes, all in the pack, for his side’s clash with Gloucester Rugby in Pool 2 of the Heineken Champions Cup at Thomond Park on Saturday, while his counterpart Johan Ackermann makes two changes, one in the back and one in the pack.
South African van Graan has named an all-new front row with James Cronin, Rhys Marshall and John Ryan coming in for the eighth game between these two sides.
The second row pairing remains unchanged for the 10-10 draw against Exeter Chiefs last weekend with both Jean Kleyn and Tadhg Beirne again to start.
Tipperary man Tommy O’Donnell, who signed an extension to his Munster Rugby contract this week, is chosen to partner the side’s captain Peter O’Mahony and last weekend’s try-scorer CJ Stander in the back row.
Duncan Williams will again partner Joey Carbery in the half-backs, while Rory Scannell and Dan Goggin are the centre partnership.
Mike Haley, Andrew Conway and Darren Sweetnam remain the Munster Rugby backline for the team’s first home game of this Heineken Champions Cup season, while Alby Mathewson returns after his injury in the recent Guinness Pro14 game against Leinster at the Aviva Stadium to take his place on the bench.
Gloucester, Pool 2 leaders on four points following their opening weekend victory over TOP 14 side Castres, make just two changes with Matt Banahan named on the wing instead of Charlie Sharples with Ed Slater coming in for former Munster Rugby player Gerbrandt Grobler in the second row.
Grobler is named among the replacements to accommodate Slater’s return, with the remainder of the team remaining the same as the 15 that started against Castres last Sunday.