O’Mahony Returns To Captain Munster

The Munster team to face Ospreys in the Guinness PRO14 at Irish Independent Park on Friday night at 7.35pm has been named by Head Coach Johann van Graan.

Captain Peter O’Mahony makes his first appearance of the campaign along with fellow returning international Andrew Conway as Joey Carbery and Tadhg Beirne make their first starts for the province.

Chris Cloete makes a welcome return in the back row with the flanker out of action since February due to forearm and groin injuries.

There are 11 changes to the side beaten by Glasgow in Scotstoun last week.

Full-back Mike Haley and winger Darren Sweetnam keep their places with Conway completing the back three.

Dan Goggin comes into the side at inside centre with Sammy Arnold at 13 as Duncan Williams and Carbery form the half-back pairing.

It’s all change in the front five as James Cronin, Rhys Marshall and Stephen Archer come into the front row.

Darren O’Shea captained Munster A to an opening day Celtic Cup win last week and is rewarded with a place in the second row alongside first-time starter Beirne.

Arno Botha is the only forward to keep his place in the side and is joined in the back row by captain O’Mahony and Cloete.

The match is Munster’s first competitive fixture on the new modified 3G surface at Irish Independent Park. The official opening of the new pitch by Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney, will take place ahead of the game.

All Ireland camogie champions Cork will be special guests at the clash along with the O’Duffy Cup and the squad and trophy will be presented to the crowd at half-time.

Munster: Mike Haley; Andrew Conway, Sammy Arnold, Dan Goggin, Darren Sweetnam; Joey Carbery, Duncan Williams; James Cronin, Rhys Marshall, Stephen Archer; Tadhg Beirne, Darren O’Shea; Peter O’Mahony (C), Chris Cloete, Arno Botha.

Replacements: Mike Sherry, Dave Kilcoyne, John Ryan, Jean Kleyn, Tommy O’Donnell, James Hart, Ian Keatley, Jaco Taute.

Tickets are available at munsterrugby.ie, from the Munster Rugby Ticket Offices in Irish Independent Park and Thomond Park, or by calling 061 421103.

The Ticket Office at Irish Independent Park will be open from 9am to 2pm on Friday and the Ticketmaster van at the Dolphin end of the stadium will be open from 2pm until kick-off.

Adult Stand: €30; *Student/Junior Stand: €10

Adult Terrace: €20; *Student/Junior Terrace: €7

Family Pack – Two Adult & Two Junior (Terrace only): €40

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