Munster without key Ireland duo for crunch URC clash against Edinburgh as club stalwart hits remarkable milestone

Jared Wright
RG Snyman of Munster and Peter O'Mahony and Jack O'Donoghue during the United Rugby Championship.

RG Snyman of Munster and Peter O'Mahony and Jack O'Donoghue during the United Rugby Championship.

Friday’s round 17 of the United Rugby Championship fixtures sees Edinburgh host Munster while Scarlets travel to Parma to tackle Zebre.

The competition heats up as the penultimate round of action sees teams make another bid to reach the URC play-offs.

Check out the teams for the two URC fixtures.

O’Mahony and Carbery injuries

Munster boss Graham Rowntree has made five changes to his team and two positional switches from the side that defeated Connacht as look to press for top spot in the URC.

Mike Haley (fullback) and Antoine Frisch (outside centre) return to the starting backline in place of Simon Zebo and Sean O’Brien, respectively. Oli Jager, Fineen Wycherley and Gavin Coombes all start in the pack.

Haley starts alongside Calvin Nash and Shane Daly in the back three, with Nankivell moving to the inside centre to accommodate Frisch’s return. The half-back partnership of Craig Casey and Jack Crowley is unchanged.

In the back-row, Jack O’Donoghue will become the 14th player to make 200 appearances for Munster – becoming the youngest player to reach the milestone at the age of 30. He is joined in the loose trio by Alex Kendellen and Coombes.

Tadhg Beirne skippers the side from the second row and is joined by lock partner Fineen Wycherley. The front row features Jager, Niall Scannell and Jeremy Loughman.

Joey Carbery and Peter O’Mahony will miss the clash against Edinburgh through injury.

The replacements are: Eoghan Clarke, Mark Donnelly, John Ryan, RG Snyman, Tom Ahern, Conor Murray, Rory Scannell, Brian Gleeson

United Rugby Championship: Multiple playoff hopes to be shattered in penultimate round

Final home game for departing Edinburgh stars?

As for Edinburgh, head coach Sean Everitt has made just one change to his run-on team that defeated Zebre last week as scrum-half and co-captain Ben Vellacott replaces Ali Price who drops to the bench.

Wes Goosen, Matt Currie and Duhan van der Merwe start in the unchanged back three with James Lang and Mark Bennett named in the centres.

Vellacott slots in alongside fly-half Ben Healy while two forwards could be playing their final home games for Edinburgh.

Bristol-bound number eight Bill Mata starts in the back-row along with Jamie Ritchie and Hamish Watson while Sam Skinner and co-captain Grant Gilchrist are the starting locks.

Retiring Edinburgh legend WP Nel is also named in the starting pack with Ewan Ashman at hooker and Pierre Schoeman at loosehead prop.

“The squad have put in a huge shift this season and this match is a chance to solidify everything we’ve worked for. It will also be a special occasion for guys like Bill [Mata] and WP [Nel] who have been tremendous servants to the club for a long time. I know our squad will be going all out to ensure it’s a positive night,” Everitt said.

Edinburgh Rugby v Munster teams

Edinburgh: 15 Wes Goosen, 14 Matt Currie, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 James Lang, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Ben Healy, 9 Ben Vellacott (cc), 8 Viliame Mata, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Jamie Ritchie, 5 Grant Gilchrist (cc), 4 Sam Skinner, 3 WP Nel, 2 Ewan Ashman, 1 Pierre Schoeman
Replacements: 16 Dave Cherry, 17 Boan Venter, 18 Javan Sebastian, 19 Marshall Sykes, 20 Luke Crosbie, 21 Ali Price, 22 Cammy Scott, 23 Chris Dean

Munster: 15 Mike Haley, 14 Calvin Nash, 13 Antoine Frisch, 12 Alex Nankivell, 11 Shane Daly, 10 Jack Crowley, 9 Craig Casey, 8 Gavin Coombes, 7 Alex Kendellen, 6 Jack O’Donoghue, 5 Tadhg Beirne (c), 4 Fineen Wycherley, 3 Oli Jager, 2 Niall Scannell, 1 Jeremy Loughman
Replacements: 16 Eoghan Clarke, 17 Mark Donnelly, 18 John Ryan, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Tom Ahern, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Rory Scannell, 23 Brian Gleeson

Venue: Hive Stadium, Edinburgh
Kick-off: 19.35 BST (20.35 ITA & SA)
Referee: Gianluca Gnecchi (FIR)
Assistant Referees: Ru Campbell (SRU), Finlay Brown (SRU)TMO: Stu Terheege (RFU)
Broadcasters: Premier Sports, TG4, SuperSport, Flo Rugby &

United Rugby Championship Ins and outs: The complete list of the 2024/25 player transfers

Zebre Parma v Scarlets teams

The hosts will be led by number eight Giovanni Licata who is joined by Davide Ruggeri and Giacomo Ferrari in the back-row. Andrea Zambonin and Leonard Krumov are the locks while Muhamed Hasa, Giampietro Ribaldi and Danilo Fischetti complete the forward pack. 

Geronimo Prisciantelli starts at 15 with Jacopo Trulla and Lorenzo Pani making up the back-three. Luca Morisi and Enrico Lucchin are in the midfield with Giovanni Montemauri and Gonzalo Garcia as the half-backs.

Zebre have gone for a normal bench split with Thomas Dominguez, Fetuli Paea and Bautista Stavile as the backs. Tommaso Di Bartolomeo, Alessio Sanavia, Juan Pitinari, David Sisi and Matteo Canali round out the matchday 23.

Ioan Lloyd has been named at fly-half for Scarlets in place of Sam Costelow who drops to the bench with Gareth Davies completing the half-back pairing. 

The midfield sees Eddie James and Johnny Williams combine while Ioan Nicholas starts at full-back with Tomi Lewis and Ryan Conbeer as the wings. 

In the front-row Ryan Elias leads the side from hooker while Harri O’Connor and Kelmsey Mathias are the props. Completing the tight five is locking pair Alex Craig and Morgan Jones. Carwyn Tuipulotu starts at eight with Dan Davis and Taine Plumtree on the side of the scrum. 

Scarlets opt for a 5-3 bench, with Kieran Hardy joining Costelow and Macs Page as backline options, while Shaun Evans, Wyn Jones, Sam Wainwright, Jarrod Taylor and Ben Williams are forward replacements.

Zebre Parma: 15 Geronimo Prisciantelli, 14 Jacopo Trulla, 13 Luca Morisi, 12 Enrico Lucchin, 11 Lorenzo Pani, 10 Giovanni Montemauri, 9 Gonzalo Garcia, 8 Giovanni Licata (C), 7 Davide Ruggeri, 6 Giacomo Ferrari, 5 Andrea Zambonin, 4 Leonard Krumov, 3 Muhamed Hasa, 2 Giampietro Ribaldi, 1 Danilo Fischetti
Replacements: 16 Tommaso Di Bartolomeo, 17 Alessio Sanavia, 18 Juan Pitinari, 19 David Sisi, 20 Matteo Canali, 21 Thomas Dominguez, 22 Fetuli Paea, 23 Bautista Stavile

Scarlets: 15 Ioan Nicholas, 14 Tomi Lewis, 13 Johnny Williams, 12 Eddie James, 11 Ryan Conbeer, 10 Ioan Lloyd, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Carwyn Tuipulotu, 7 Dan Davis, 6 Taine Plumtree, 5 Morgan Jones, 4 Alex Craig, 3 Harri O’Connor, 2 Ryan Elias (c), 1 Kemsley Mathias
Replacements: 16 Shaun Evans, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Sam Wainwright, 19 Jarrod Taylor, 20 Ben Williams, 21 Kieran Hardy, 22 Sam Costelow, 23 Macs Page

Venue: Stadio Lanfranchi, Parma
Kick-off: 19.35 BST (20.35 ITA & SA)
Referee: Sam Grove-White (SRU)
Assistant Referees: Clara Munarini (FIR), Alberto Falvero (FIR)TMO: Colin Brett (SRU)
Broadcasters: Sky Italia, BBC Wales, Premier Sports, SuperSport, Flo Rugby &

READ MORE: Premiership play-off race permutations: What each team needs in the final round