URC: Munster depart for Stormers showdown with fully-loaded squad as several key players return
Munster will travel to Cape Town for the United Rugby Championship (URC) final in good health after positive updates were given on several players.
The Irish outfit confirmed a 30-player group that will board a flight on Monday before they arrive in South Africa on Tuesday ahead of Saturday’s fixture.
Graham Rowntree’s squad consists of 17 forwards and 13 backs with Munster‘s matchday line-up to take on the Stormers in the final to be unveiled on Friday.
Good news on several players
Munster revealed that Jean Kleyn and Ben Healy are due to complete the return to play protocols this week after being removed during the win over Leinster.
Malakai Fekitoa, Conor Murray, Calvin Nash and RG Snyman have completed the return to play protocols and are available to feature after missing the semi.
Elsewhere, Munster Academy scrum-half Ethan Coughlan is included among the squad, which will have enjoyed a week’s rest after a brutal clash in Dublin.
After scares ahead of the URC semi-final, both hooker Diarmuid Barron and flanker Peter O’Mahony look to have come through that tough game unscathed.
Munster’s pack includes the likes of Jeremy Loughman, Stephen Archer, Tadhg Beirne, Gavin Coombes, John Hodnett, Alex Kendellen and Jack O’Donoghue.
Graham Rowntree humble as always 🔴❤️#BKTURC #URC | #UnitedWeRise | #LEIvMUN pic.twitter.com/OPEwFvAVFG
— BKT United Rugby Championship (URC) (@URCOfficial) May 13, 2023
The backline selection for the game at DHL Stadium is likely to provide the most headaches for Rowntree, with the half-back spots very much in demand. Murray’s return to fitness leads to a call over whether to start him over Craig Casey, while Healy and Fekitoa’s availability means difficult decisions await.
Munster could go for the same 10-12 combination that started against Leinster, with Healy alongside drop-goal hero Jack Crowley, or revert to Crowley wearing number 10 and Fekitoa starting with the in-form Antoine Frisch in the midfield. Rory Scannell also impressed coming off the bench early against Leinster.
Meanwhile, Nash’s comeback also leaves a decision to be made, with Keith Earls’ excellent showing in the semi-final pressing his case to remain at 14.
Munster won 26-24 on their last visit to the Stormers in a regular-season game in April, ending the Capetonians’ incredible unbeaten streak on their home patch.
That will no doubt add extra fire to the Stormers’ preparations this week, with John Dobson’s outfit looking to retain the URC silverware they won in 2021/22.
Munster travelling squad
Forwards: Dave Kilcoyne, Jeremy Loughman, Josh Wycherley, Diarmuid Barron, Niall Scannell, Scott Buckley, Stephen Archer, Roman Salanoa, Tadhg Beirne, Jean Kleyn, RG Snyman, Fineen Wycherley, Gavin Coombes, John Hodnett, Alex Kendellen, Jack O’Donoghue, Peter O’Mahony
Backs: Craig Casey, Ethan Coughlan, Conor Murray, Joey Carbery, Jack Crowley, Ben Healy, Malakai Fekitoa, Antoine Frisch, Rory Scannell, Shane Daly, Keith Earls, Mike Haley, Calvin Nash
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