Munster make 11 changes as youngsters get their chance against Scarlets

Jack O’Donoghue switches from openside to blindside and captains the young side

Johann van Graan has made 11 changes to Munster’s starting XV for Sunday’s United Rugby Championship game away to the Scarlets (kick-off 2pm, live on RTÉ, S4C, Premier Sports).

Jack O'Donoghue, outstanding in last week's comeback win over the Stormers, switches from openside to blindside and captains a young side in which Calvin Nash, Shane Daly and Fineen Wycherley are also retained.

Matt Gallagher, Liam Coombes and Neil Cronin make their first appearances of the season in the backline.

Ben Healy, Jeremy Loughman, Diarmuid Barron, Stephen Archer, Thomas Ahern, Chris Cloete and Jack O'Sullivan make their first starts of the new campaign.


Gallagher starts at fullback as Nash and Daly keep their places on either flank, while Dan Goggin and Coombes partner up in midfield with Cronin and Healy in the halfbacks.

Loughman, Barron and Archer pack down in the frontrow, while Ahern and Wycherley start in the secondrow, and O’Donoghue is alongside Cloete and O’Sullivan in the backrow.

Kevin O'Byrne, Josh Wycherley, Jack Crowley, Jack Daly and the academy duo of Alex Kendellen and Paddy Patterson are all in line to make their season debuts off the bench.

In injury news, Jason Jenkins sustained a thigh injury in training this week and is awaiting a scan. Rowan Osborne is also unavailable having sustained a concussion and will follow the return-to-play protocols under the supervision of the medical department.

Keynan Knox has presented with a low-grade hip injury following last week’s win over Stormers which will be managed with the medical department.

MUNSTER: Matt Gallagher; Calvin Nash, Liam Coombes, Dan Goggin, Shane Daly; Ben Healy, Neil Cronin; Jeremy Loughman, Diarmuid Barron, Stephen Archer; Thomas Ahern, Fineen Wycherley; Jack O'Donoghue (capt), Chris Cloete, Jack O'Sullivan.

Replacements: Kevin O'Byrne, Josh Wycherley, John Ryan, RG Snyman, Alex Kendellen, Paddy Patterson, Jack Crowley, Jack Daly.

Gerry Thornley

Gerry Thornley

Gerry Thornley is Rugby Correspondent of The Irish Times