Preview: Munster v Glasgow Warriors

Date published: October 1 2015

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Munster head coach Anthony Foley has rung the changes to his starting XV for Friday's clash with Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park. 

Full-back Felix Jones will captain the Irish province which has eight changes to the run-on side which defeated the Ospreys over a fortnight ago.

An all new front row sees James Cronin and Stephen Archer start on either side of Duncan Casey with Archer and Casey both making their first starts of this season's PRO12. 

Archer also draws ever closer to the 100 cap milestone for the province and will make his 99th Munster appearance this weekend.

Mark Chisholm and Dave Foley again form the second-row partnership with the reintroduction of CJ Stander at number eight the only change in the back row, Dave O'Callaghan and Jack O'Donoghue continuing at six and seven respectively.

Duncan Williams and Ian Keatley return at half-back with Tyler Bleyendaal switching to inside centre for the first time, while the New Zealander is partnered by the academy's David Johnston in midfield on his second league start.

The only change in the back three sees Gerhard van den Heever make his first PRO12 appearance of the season, starting on the left wing. Andrew Conway continues on the right flank with Jones captaining the side from full-back.

Meanwhile, Glasgow Warriors boss Gregor Townsend has named Rob Harley as captain this clash.

Harley leads the Warriors from the second row with Hugh Blake starting at centre and tighthead prop D’arcy Rae both making their first competitive starts for the club.

Scotland international Rory Hughes will play at full-back, while Lee Jones and Junior Bulumakau have been named on either wing.

Fraser Lyle will partner Blake in the centre after the pair combined well in the win over Connacht.

The half-back pairing will be Rory Clegg and Grayson Hart. In the front-row, Alex Allan and D’arcy Rae will combine along with Pat MacArthur at hooker.

Scott Cummings partners Harley at lock and in the back row, Tyrone Holmes and Chris Fusaro link up with Adam Ashe at number eight. 

Among the replacements is fly-half Gregor Hunter, who could make his first competitive appearance for the club after overcoming injury.

Townsend said: “The players have been really positive in our last two games, taking the play to the opposition. They also showed huge character to find a way to win against Connacht in our last PRO12 match and we're expecting another tough encounter against Munster tomorrow night.

"We were able to give our players a run-out against the British Army last weekend, which was a valuable experience and has helped maintain momentum.

"Munster are a top class side, but we've prepared well and we're excited about the challenge which lies ahead."

Form: Munster’s only defeat in their last nine Guinness PRO12 fixtures was 13-31 to Glasgow Warriors in last season’s final in Belfast. The Munstermen have won their last nine matches (at both of their venues) since Clermont Auvergne beat them at Thomond Park last December. Glasgow Warriors have begun the defence of their PRO12 crown with a loss and a win at Scotstoun in the first two rounds. The Warriors have won their last five contests against Irish Provinces since their 34-all draw with Leinster at the RDS Arena in March. Munster’s only victory in their last five encounters with Glasgow was 22-10 in this equivalent fixture last season, played in Cork. The Warriors have won twice before in Limerick – in February 2006 and on their last visit in April 2014.

The teams:

Munster: 15 Felix Jones (c), 14 Andrew Conway, 13 David Johnston, 12 Tyler Bleyendaal, 11 Gerhard van den Heever; 10 an Keatley, 9 Duncan Williams, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Jack O'Donoghue, 6 Dave O'Callaghan, 5 Dave Foley, 4 Mark Chisholm, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Duncan Casey, 1 James Cronin
Replacements: 16 Mike Sherry, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 BJ Botha, 19 Robin Copeland, 20 Jordan Coghlan, 21 Cathal Sheridan, 22 Rory Scannell, 23 Shane Monahan

Glasgow Warriors: 15 Rory Hughes, 14 Junior Bulumakau, 13 Hugh Blake, 12 Fraser Lyle, 11 Lee Jones, 10 Rory Clegg, 9 Grayson Hart, 8 Adam Ashe, 7 Chris Fusaro, 6 Tyrone Holmes, 5 Scott Cummings, 4 Rob Harley (c), 3 D’arcy Rae, 2 Pat MacArthur, 1 Alex Allan
Replacements: 16 Fergus Scott, 17 Jerry Yanuyanutawa, 18 Zander Fagerson, 19 Kieran Low, 20 James Eddie, 21 Mike Blair, 22 Gregor Hunter, 23 Robbie Fergusson.

Date: Friday, October 2
Venue: Thomond Park
Kick-off: 18.00 local (17.00 GMT)
Referee: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Nigel Correll (Ireland), John Carvill (Ireland)
TMO: Marshall Kilgore (Ireland)

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