MUNSTER HAVE MADE wholesale changes to their starting XV for tomorrow’s Christmas inter-pro meeting with Ulster in Kingspan Stadium [kick-off 19.35, eir Sport].

There are 13 fresh faces in the starting line-up after the tight six-day turnaround following the fraught narrow loss away to Castres. The bench features the welcome sight of Tommy O’Donnell back from injury sustained in October.

The other openside back from a stint on the sidelines is Conor Oliver, who starts in the back row alongside Arno Botha and Fineen Wycherly.

Jean Kleyn is fit to bolster the engine room in partnership with Darren O’Shea.

The only two starters carried over to Munster’s starting line-up from European competition are fullback Mike Haley and centre Sam Arnold. The newly-capped international lines up with Jaco Taute in midfield and the South African captains Munster for the first time.

JJ Hanrahan partners Alby Mathewson in the half-back roles with Bill Johnston and Neil Cronin in reserve.

Alby Mathewson speaking to the media in UL this week. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Munster go into the first of three Pro14 inter-provincial meetings sitting second in Conference A, seven points off leaders Glasgow Warriors and four ahead of in-form Connacht.

Defeat in Castres marked the southern province fourth loss of the season after defeats away to Glasgow, Cardiff and Leinster.

Munster (v Ulster)

15. Mike Haley
14. Darren Sweetnam
13. Sammy Arnold
12. Jaco Taute (Captain)
11. Alex Wootton
10. JJ Hanrahan
9. Alby Mathewson

1. Jeremy Loughman
2. Kevin O’Byrne
3. Stephen Archer
4. Jean Kleyn
5. Darren O’Shea
6. Fineen Wycherley
7. Conor Oliver
8. Arno Botha


16. Mike Sherry
17. Dave Kilcoyne
18. Ciaran Parker
19. Gavin Coombes
20. Tommy O’Donnell
21. Neil Cronin
22. Bill Johnston
23. Shane Daly

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