Erasmus Names Side For Worcester
23rd August 2017 By The Editor
Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus has named a strong side for tomorrow evening’s preseason friendly away to Worcester Warriors at Sixways Stadium – ko 7.30pm.
In naming an extended squad of 27 players, no less than 14 members of the senior squad are to start, while the Greencore Munster Academy’s Liam O’Connor completes the starting XV.
O’Connor, who made his competitive debut against Stade Francais in January 2016, is named in the front row alongside Rhys Marshall and Stephen Archer.
In the second row, Jean Kleyn makes a return to action having successfully rehabbed the neck injury that sidelined him since February. The South African is joined by his fellow countryman, Gerbrandt Grobler, who makes his first start for the province.
The international trio of Billy Holland, Tommy O’Donnell and Jack O’Donoghue bring a wealth of experience to the back row.
Duncan Williams and Tyler Bleyendaal, who captains the side, resume their partnership at half back, with midfield powerhouse Jaco Taute forming an all-new partnership alongside new recruit Chris Farrell, another named in his first official matchday side for the province.
The steady stream of academy talent from recent seasons is evident in tomorrow night’s back-three with wingers Alex Wootton and Darren Sweetnam, and recently graduated fullback Stephen Fitzgerald, all starting.
Having just signed a one-year development contract with Munster, former Sale Sharks and England U20 prop Ciaran Parker is named on the bench, as is new man James Hart from Racing 92.
After his involvement in last week’s scenario-based training against Connacht, Mike Sherry makes a welcome return to a matchday squad, overcoming the back injury that has kept him sidelined since May 2016. Also named on the bench are club players James Rochford (Dolphin) and Ronan Coffey (sub-academy and Shannon) following their inclusion in preseason training to date.
Meanwhile, Worcester have today confirmed that both Donnacha O’Callaghan and Peter Stringer will face their former side with O’Callaghan to lead the Premiership outfit from the second row and Stringer to start at scrum half. Click here to view the full Worcester side to face Munster.
Munster: Stephen Fitzgerald, Darren Sweetnam, Chris Farrell, Jaco Taute, Alex Wootton; Tyler Bleyendaal – capt., Duncan Williams; Liam O’Connor, Rhys Marshall, Stephen Archer; Jean Kleyn, Gerbrandt Grobler; Billy Holland, Tommy O’Donnell, Jack O’Donoghue.
Replacements from: Mike Sherry, Brian Scott, James Rochford, Sean O’Connor, Ronan Coffey, Gavin Coombes, Sean McCarthy, James Hart, Ian Keatley, Dan Goggin, Ciaran Parker, David Johnston.
Worcester Warriors v Munster Rugby, Thursday August 24th at Sixways Stadium – ko 7.30pm.
For live updates on Twitter follow @munsterrugby