6 Dec, 21:27
Munster A tasted defeat for the first time this season as they went down 17-7 to Plymouth Albion in the British and Irish Cup on Friday night.
Donnacha Ryan will make his first appearance of the season starting next to Ian Nagle in the second row and James Downey who recovered from a quad tear picked up at training is named in the replacements. Damien Varley will captain the squad as he joins Dave Kilcoyne and John Ryan in the front row.
The last outing against Zebre saw Munster only narrowly defeat the Italian side 27-25 in Parma and the Italians who suffered a 25-16 defeat to Connacht last weekend will be looking to open their home campaign with a positive start.
Head Coach Rob Penney said “They were pretty robust against Connacht and they’ll be heading home with the desire to get their stadium off to a winning start so that brings some hurdles of their own.
Zebre are a physical, challenging side and we found that out last year. They’ve some good players there and they are not the roll over team that people think they are.”
Munster: Denis Hurley; Johne Murphy, Casey Laulala, Ivan Dineen, Andrew Conway; JJ Hanrahan, Cathal Sheridan; Dave Kilcoyne, Damien Varley Capt., John Ryan; Donnacha Ryan, Ian Nagle; CJ Stander, Tommy O’Donnell, Paddy Butler. Replacements: Mike Sherry, James Cronin, Stephen Archer, Dave Foley, Niall Ronan, Duncan Williams, Ian Keatley, James Downey.
Please note this game will not be televised but RTE 2 will show extended Zebre v Munster match highlights on Saturday from 5.05pm.