CJ Stander captains Munster on final home appearance

Date published: May 27 2021 - Colin Newboult

There are seven changes to the Munster side as Mike Haley, Rory Scannell, Joey Carbery, Niall Scannell, Stephen Archer, Fineen Wycherley and Tommy O’Donnell come into the starting XV.

Captain CJ Stander, O’Donnell and James Cronin start on their final Munster appearances at Thomond Park.

Haley is named at full-back as wingers Andrew Conway and Shane Daly keep their places. Rory Scannell starts at inside centre as Damian de Allende moves to the 13 jersey.

Craig Casey keeps his place at scrum-half and is joined by Joey Carbery in the half-backs.

Cronin, Niall Scannell and Archer start in the front-row with Jean Kleyn and Wycherley in the engine room. Jack O’Donoghue, O’Donnell and Stander complete the side.

Elsewhere, Gavin Coombes returns from illness and is named among the replacements. Academy out-half Jack Crowley made his debut with the Ireland 7s team last week and is set to make his third senior appearance off the bench.

Scrum-half Nick McCarthy is set for his final Munster appearance at Thomond Park if sprung from the bench.

James Botham back for Cardiff

Meanwhile, Wales international James Botham will make his first Cardiff Blues appearance since April in Friday’s PRO14 Rainbow Cup clash against Munster.

Dai Young has made two changes to his starting line-up for the trip to Limerick, with flanker Botham, who last featured in the European Challenge Cup quarter-final defeat to London Irish, recovering from a recent calf injury to take his place in the back-row alongside James Ratti and Josh Turnbull.

Utility forward Turnbull, who also captains the side at Thomond Park, will move to third in the PRO14’s top appearance makers, making his 207th championship outing and overtaking former Edinburgh and Scotland hooker Ross Ford.

The other change is made in the front-row, as Corey Domachowski is recalled to the XV to link up with fellow homegrown talents, Kristian Dacey and Dillon Lewis.

Seb Davies and Cory Hill form an unchanged second-row combination, while Young has also opted for an unchanged backline, which includes British and Irish Lion in-waiting, Josh Adams.

The teams

Munster: 15 Mike Haley, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Damian de Allende, 12 Rory Scannell, 11 Shane Daly, 10 Joey Carbery, 9 Craig Casey, 8 CJ Stander (c), 7 Tommy O’Donnell, 6 Jack O’Donoghue, 5 Fineen Wycherley, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Niall Scannell, 1 James Cronin
Replacements: 16 Diarmuid Barron, 17 Jeremy Loughman, 18 Keynan Knox, 19 Gavin Coombes, 20 Peter O’Mahony, 21 Nick McCarthy, 22 Jack Crowley, 23 Jack O’Sullivan

Cardiff: 15 Hallam Amos, 14 Jason Harries, 13 Willis Halaholo, 12 Ben Thomas, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Jarrod Evans, 9 Tomos Williams, 8 James Ratti, 7 James Botham, 6 Josh Turnbull (c), 5 Cory Hill, 4 Seb Davies, 3 Dillon Lewis, 2 Kristian Dacey, 1 Corey Domachowski
Replacements: 16 Liam Belcher, 17 Rhys Carré, 18 Dmitri Arhip, 19 Rory Thornton, 20 Olly Robinson, 21 Lloyd Williams, 22 Harri Millard, 23 Matthew Morgan

Venue: Thomond Park
Kick-off: 19:35 BST (18:35 GMT)
Referee: Andrew Brace
Assistant referees: Rob O’Sullivan, Nigel Correll
TMO: Olly Hodges