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Team News | Munster Side To Face Crusaders

February 1, 2024 6:00 pm By The Editor

Munster face the Crusaders at a sold-out Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

Munster face the Crusaders at a sold-out Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Inpho

The Munster team has been named for Saturday’s clash against Crusaders at Páirc Uí Chaoimh (kick-off 5pm).

Pinergy are the presenting partner for the game with a capacity crowd of 40,885 to attend. There will be live TV coverage on TG4 and live commentary on Access Munster. Sign up to Access Munster for just €4 here.

Please note that screenshots of tickets will not be accepted for entry. See full travel info here.

Alex Kendellen captains Munster for the first time with Academy trio Ethan Coughlan, Shay McCarthy and Ruadhán Quinn all starting.

It will be Quinn’s first start for Munster after becoming the province’s youngest player in the professional era at the age of 18 last season.

Hooker Eoghan Clarke also makes his first start for the province and Jack O’Sullivan starts for the first time this season at no.8.

Out-half Joey Carbery is in the starting XV for the first time since October after returning from a wrist injury last month.

Full-back Daly, Seán O’Brien and McCarthy make up the back three.

Christchurch native Alex Nankivell and Antoine Frisch continue their centre partnership with Coughlan and Carbery in the half-backs.

Josh Wycherley, Clarke and Stephen Archer pack down in the front row with Coombes and Fineen Wycherley in the engine room.

Quinn, Kendellen and O’Sullivan complete the starting XV.

A 10-man replacements bench includes Academy players Mark Donnelly, Daniel Okeke and Tony Butler.

Colm Hogan is in line to make his Munster debut off the bench after joining the province in November.

19-year-old Cork Constitution lock/back-row forward Kamil Nowak is also in line for his Munster debut. Nowak, whose twin brother Dawid is also a Cork Constitution man, played underage rugby at Midleton RFC and schools rugby with CBC. He lined out for the Munster U19s in 2022.

Scott Buckley, Donnelly and John Ryan provide the front row cover with Nowak, Jack Daly and Okeke completing the forward cover. Daly is set for his first cap since 2022 after missing all of last season and a number of months this year through injury with Okeke in line for his first appearance since his debut in 2021.

Tony Butler, Rory Scannell and Hogan are the backline replacements.

On the injury front, Tom Ahern is continuing the return to play protocols with Patrick Campbell also unavailable due to a shoulder injury.

Oli Jager and Niall Scannell miss out due to minor knocks as Mike Haley continues his return from long-term injury.

Munster: Shane Daly; Seán O’Brien, Antoine Frisch, Alex Nankivell, Shay McCarthy; Joey Carbery, Ethan Coughlan; Josh Wycherley, Eoghan Clarke, Stephen Archer; Gavin Coombes, Fineen Wycherley; Ruadhán Quinn, Alex Kendellen (C), Jack O’Sullivan.

Replacements: Scott Buckley, Mark Donnelly, John Ryan, Kamil Nowak, Jack Daly, Daniel Okeke, Neil Cronin, Tony Butler, Rory Scannell, Colm Hogan.

Crusaders: Leigh Halfpennny; Chay Fihaki, Levi Aumua, Dallas McLeod, Macca Springer; Taha Kemara, Mitch Drummond; George Bower, George Bell, Owen Franks; Quinten Strange (C), Tahlor Cahill; Dominic Gardiner, Tom Christie, Cullen Grace.

Replacements: Ioane Moananu, Kershawl Sykes-Martin, Seb Calder, Jamie Hannah, Christian Lio-Willie, Noah Hotham, Rivez Reihana, Ryan Crotty, Josh Southall, Heremaia Murray.

Press Pass

Hear from Shane Daly and Graham Rowntree ahead of the game.

Munster - Match Page - Lineups - Preview

Munster Edge Past Crusaders At Páirc Uí Chaoimh

February 3, 2024 8:21 pm By The Editor

Munster captain Alex Kendellen lifts the trophy.

Munster captain Alex Kendellen lifts the trophy. Inpho

Munster edged out Super Rugby champions Crusaders on another memorable night in Páirc Uí Chaoimh in front of a sold-out crowd of 40,885.

It was an entertaining encounter between the URC champions and the New Zealanders which produced an exciting finish.

Former Munster coach Rob Penney saw his Crusaders side almost snatch a draw when they crossed for a try with the clock two minutes in the red but they were unable to add the conversion.

The scene was set when Crusaders performed the first Haka at Páirc Uí Chaoimh ahead of kick-off.

Munster led 14-7 at the end of an opening half where they were on top for long periods.

They hit the front after a good bout of possession when Gavin Coombes got in for his first try after 15 minutes after Shane Daly was stopped short.

Joey Carbery added the extras from the left wing to make it 7-0.

Daly was denied a try four minutes later when three Crusaders managed to get back to prevent him grounding the ball after another good build-up.

But the pressure paid off six minutes from the break when Munster went to the corner with a penalty. Hooker Eoghan Clarke was stopped short but from the recycle Coombes got over for his second try.

Carbery again converted for 14-0.

But Crusaders hit back before the interval with scrum-half Mitch Drummond scoring after being set up by Macca Springer and Dallas McLeod. Taha Kemera converted to leave it 14-7 at the break.

Crusaders got back on level terms after 66 minutes when McLeod got in for a try which Rivez Reihana converted to make it 14-14.

But Munster hit the front ten minutes from time when they were again rewarded for going to the corner and a few phases later Scott Buckley squeezed over and Carbery converted to lead 21-14.

Crusaders finished strongly but while Jamie Hannah got in for their third try, the conversion from Rivez Reihana drifted across goal and Munster held on to back up their win last season over South Africa A with another win at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.


Eoghan Clarke and Ruadhán Quinn made their first starts for Munster.

Colm Hogan and Kamil Nowak made their Munster debuts.

Gavin Coombes was named Player of the Match.

Munster: Shane Daly; Seán O’Brien (Colm Hogan, 76), Antoine Frisch, Alex Nankivell (Rory Scannell, 54), Shay McCarthy (Tony Butler, 65); Joey Carbery, Ethan Coughlan (Neil Cronin, 54); Josh Wycherley (Mark Donnelly, 68), Eoghan Clarke (Scott Buckley, 50), Stephen Archer (John Ryan, 50); Gavin Coombes, Fineen Wycherley (Kamil Nowak, 78); Ruadhán Quinn (Jack Daly, 69), Alex Kendellen (C), Jack O’Sullivan (Daniel Okeke, 80).

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