Munster: Jack O’Donoghue to lead strong side against South Africa ‘A’

Jack O’Donoghue Munster v Bulls URC 2022 - PA.jpg Credit: Alamy
Jack O’Donoghue Munster v Bulls URC 2022 - PA.jpg Credit: Alamy

Munster head coach Graham Rowntree has made seven changes to his starting line-up for their enounter against the South Africa ‘A’ side at Páirc Uí Chaoimh in Cork on Thursday evening.

Jack O’Donoghue leads the home outfit which has three Munster Rugby Academy players named in their squad.

Academy lock Edwin Edogbo retains his spot in the second-row while Cian Hurley and Patrick Campbell have been included among the replacements.

Antoine Frisch returns from injury

At outside centre, Antoine Frisch will make his first start for Munster after recovering from a calf injury which he sustained while on tour with Emerging Ireland to South Africa earlier this year.

Kiran McDonald joins Edogbo in the second-row on his first Munster appearance after joining on a short-term contract last month.

Munster have also been boosted by the inclusions of Simon Zebo, Ben Healy, Josh Wycherley, Roman Salanoa and Gavin Coombes in the run-on side XV.

Mike Haley starts at full-back with Shane Daly and Zebo alongside him as the two wings.

Meanwhile, Rory Scannell and Frisch form the centre partnership for the first time with Paddy Patterson and Healy named as the starting half-backs.

Wycherley, Diarmuid Barron and Salanoa pack down in the front-row with Edogbo and McDonald starting in the second-row.

O’Donoghue, John Hodnett and Coombes complete the side.

Barron, Coombes and Daly were all in action for Ireland A against the All Blacks XV last week.

Elsewhere, Niall Scannell has completed the return-to-play protocols and is named as the replacement hooker along with Liam O’Connor and Keynan Knox, who are the back-up props.

Academy lock/back-row forward Hurley and Alex Kendellen are the rest of the forward cover.

Malakai Fekitoa back from international duty

Neil Cronin, Campbell and Malakai Fekitoa have been named as the backline replacements with Fekitoa back from Test duty with Tonga.

The sell-out game will see 41,400 fans make their way to Páirc Uí Chaoimh for the largest-ever attendance at a rugby game in the province.

The Scannell brothers, Rory and Niall, are the only players in this squad who played in Munster’s last game against a touring side, the Maori All Blacks, in 2016.

Munster: 15 Mike Haley, 14 Shane Daly, 13 Antoine Frisch, 12 Rory Scannell, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Ben Healy, 9 Paddy Patterson, 8 Gavin Coombes, 7 John Hodnett, 6 Jack O’Donoghue (c), 5 Kiran McDonald, 4 Edwin Edogbo, 3 Roman Salanoa, 2 Diarmuid Barron, 1 Josh Wycherley
Replacements: 16 Niall Scannell, 17 Liam O’Connor, 18 Keynan Knox, 19 Cian Hurley, 20 Alex Kendellen, 21 Neil Cronin, 22 Patrick Campbell, 23 Malakai Fekitoa

Date: Thursday, November 10
Venue: Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Cork
Kick-off: 19:30 GMT
Referee: Karl Dickson (England)
Assistant Referees: Sam Grove White (Scotland), Ben Blain (Scotland)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)

READ MORE: South Africa ‘A’: Thomas du Toit to captain side with 14 internationals against Munster

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