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Pro12: Munster trio to make debuts
04 Sep 2015 12:12
Munster Head Coach Anthony Foley will hand John Madigan, David Johnston and Shane Monahan their competitive debuts for Munster against Benetton Treviso in round 1 of the Pro12 against Benetton Treviso at Irish Independent Park on Saturday night, with New Zealander Tyler Bleyendaal another in line to do so after being named amongst the replacements.
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Suffering no ill-effects from recent outings against Connacht and London Irish, hooker Mike Sherry makes a return to Pro12 action for the first time since November 2013 and is joined in the front row by James Cronin and BJ Botha. A contrast in milestones in the second row sees the academy's Madigan win his first Munster cap partnering Dave Foley, who wins his 50th cap, since making his league debut against Connacht in April 2010. CJ Stander will again captain the side from the back of the scrum at number 8 with Dave O'Callaghan and Jack O'Donoghue completing the pack at 6 and 7. Duncan Williams and Ian Keatley form the half-back partnership, while Rory Scannell is paired with his academy colleague, and debutant Johnston in the midfield. Felix Jones makes his first provincial appearance of the season at fullback with new cap Monahan and Andrew Conway taking charge of the flanks. Successful rehabilitation of a groin strain sustained against Grenoble in recent weeks allows Bleyendaal take his place on the bench, while Cian Bohane is also included after rehabbing a knee injury that kept him sidelined for the past competitive season. Munster: F Jones; A Conway, D Johnston, R Scannell, S Monahan; I Keatley, D Williams; J Cronin, M Sherry, BJ Botha; J Madigan, D Foley; D O'Callaghan, J O'Donoghue, CJ Stander (captain). Replacements: Niall Scannell, John Ryan, Stephen Archer, Robin Copeland, Shane Buckley, Cathal Sheridan, Tyler Bleyendaal, Cian Bohane.
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Andrew Trimble is to start for Ulster against Ospreys in Belfast, having just missed out on Joe Schmidt's Rugby World Cup squad earlier this week.
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Trimble has been a long-term absentee due to injury, and his only international involvement was in Ireland's first RWC warm-up game against Wales in August.
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He did, however, feature for Ulster last weekend and will be in Schmidt's mind should any of his selected backs get injured.
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Trimble is joined in an exciting looking back three by Craig Gilroy and Louis Ludik.
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Peter Nelson starts his first game for the province at out-half, having previously played for Ulster A, following injuries to Ian Humphreys and Sam Windsor.
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Ulster: L Ludik, A Trimble, L Marshall, S McCloskey, C Gilroy, P Nelson, P Marshall; (1-8): A Warwick, R Herring(Captain), W Herbst, D Tuohy, F Van der Merwe, R Wilson, W Faloon, N Williams.
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Replacements: J Andrew, R Lutton, B Ross, P Browne, C Ross, S Reidy, D Shanahan, S Arnold.
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Kevin McLaughlin is to take the captain's armband in his first start of significance for Leinster since December in Friday's Pro12 trip to Edinburgh.
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Leo Cullen has also named five players released from the Ireland squad this week in his first competitive side, with Michael Bent, Jack Conan, Fergus McFadden, Noel Reid and Isaac Bossall to feature.
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There are also two players making their first starts for the province - Dan Leavy at openside flanker and Cathal Marsh at out-half.
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Leinster: I Nacewa, F McFadden, B Te'o, N Reid, D Fanning, C Marsh, L McGrath, M Bent, A Dundon, J Hagan, T Denton, M McCarthy, K McLaughlin(Captain), D Leavy,& J Conan.
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Replacements: B Byrne, P Dooley, R Burke-Flynn, R Molony, D Ryan, I Boss, R Byrne, G Ringrose.
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Pat Lam has also named a number of fresh faces in his Connacht side to face the Newport-Gwent Dragons at the Sportsgrounds on Friday.
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21-year-old Academy player Rory Parata is to make his first side alongside Bundee Aki in the centre, while newly signed Nepia Fox-Matamua starts at openside flanker.
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Former Leinster man Ben Marshall is also named on the bench and is likely to make his first appearance for the province
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Kieran Marmion, another man who missed out on World Cup selection, starts at scrum-half.
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Lam said he was delighted for Parata, who impressed in the warm-up games.
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"It just highlights that if you put the work in your chance will come.
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"It's always a tight and physical battle with the Dragons and we're expecting nothing different tomorrow night with both sides looking to get off to a flying start."
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Connacht: T O'Halloran, D Poolman, R Parata, B Aki, M Healy, J Carty, K Marmion, D Buckley, T McCartney, R Ah You, Q Roux, A Browne, J Muldoon (captain), N Fox-Matamua, E Masterson. Replacements: D Heffernan, JP Cooney, F Bealham, B Marshall, E McKeon, J Cooney, C Ronaldson, F Carr.
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