Preview: Munster v Edinburgh

Date published: April 28 2016

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Munster head coach Anthony Foley has made five changes to his XV for their PRO12 clash with Edinburgh at Irish Independent Park on Friday.

Four alterations are seen in the pack with Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell, Dave Foley and Dave O'Callaghan all retuning to the starting line-up.

Kilcoyne and Scannell join Stephen Archer in the front-row, Foley overcomes an ankle injury to partner Billy Holland in the second-row, while back-row O'Callaghan has rehabbed knee bruising to start at blindside flanker in a move that sees captain CJ Stander revert to number eight with Tommy O'Donnell remaining at openside.

The final change comes in the back-three where Andrew Conway joins Keith Earls and full-back Simon Zebo.

Conor Murray and Johnny Holland continue in the half-backs as do Rory Scannell and Francis Saili in midfield.

Meanwhile, Edinburgh have made three changes to the starting XV that secured a losing bonus point on their last outing at Leinster.

Full-back Blair Kinghorn retains his spot while Damien Hoyland and Tom Brown continue their partnership on the wings.

A change in the midfield sees Matt Scott return at outside centre with Andries Strauss at inside, following injury to Phil Burleigh last time out. On-loan Jason Tovey remains at fly-half with Sean Kennedy moving from the bench to start in the number nine jersey.

The pack, meanwhile is unchanged, the Scotland front row of Alasdair Dickinson, Ross Ford and WP Nel bookended by the back-row of Jamie Ritchie on the blindside, John Hardie at openside and Cornell Du Preez at number eight.

The lock combination of Anton Bresler and Ben Toolis is retained, with the former set to make his 50th appearance in the black and red.

The 6ft 6in Namibian-born second-row arrived at the club at the start of 2014/15 making 26 appearances – 23 starts – last season and 23 to date, just one off the bench, this term.

Form: Realistically both Munster and Edinburgh require a victory to keep their hopes of a Champions Cup place alive. Munster's only victory in the last four rounds of PRO12 play was 47-0 against Zebre at Thomond Park in Round 18. The Munstermen's 12-match winning run in Cork ended when Ospreys beat them there on February 14. Edinburgh have won three of their last five PRO12 fixtures but away from home their only victory since early January was by a single point at Newport Gwent Dragons on March 27. Munster have lost just one of their last eight PRO12 encounters with Edinburgh: 13-14 in Limerick in September 2014. Edinburgh have won only once in six previous visits to Irish Independent Park and that was in April 2004.

The teams:

Munster: 15 Simon Zebo, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Francis Saili, 12 Rory Scannell, 11 Keith Earls, 10 Johnny Holland, 9 Conor Murray, 8 CJ Stander (c), 7 Tommy O'Donnell, 6 Dave O'Callaghan, 5 Billy Holland, 4 Dave Foley, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Niall Scannell, 1 Dave Kilcoyne
Replacements: 16 Mike Sherry, 17 James Cronin, 18 John Ryan, 19 Robin Copeland, 20 Jack O'Donoghue, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 Ian Keatley, 23 Ronan O'Mahony

Edinburgh: 15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Damien Hoyland, 13 Matt Scottt, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Tom Brown, 10 Jason Tovey, 9 Sean Kennedy, 8 Cornell du Preez, 7 John Hardie, 6 Jamie Ritchie, 5 Ben Toolis, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 WP Nel, 2 Ross Ford (c) 1 Alasdair Dickinson
Replacements: 16 Stuart McInally 17 Rory Sutherland, 18 John Andress, 19 Alex Toolis, 20 Magnus Bradbury, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Chris Dean, 23 Dougie Fife

Date: Friday, April 29
Venue: Irish Independent Park, Cork
Kick-off: 19:35 BST (18:35 GMT)
Referee: Ian Davies (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Dudley Phillips (Ireland), Nigel Correll (Ireland)
TMO: Brian MacNeice (Ireland)

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