Munster coach Johann van Graan. Photo: @MunsterRugby on Twitter

LIMERICK – Coach Johann van Graan has named his side to face Cheetahs in the first round of the Pro14 on Saturday in Thomond Park.

New signings Arno Botha, Mike Haley and Neil Cronin will make their Pro14 starting debuts, while Joey Carbery is set to make his debut in red if sprung off the bench.

Academy and Ireland 7s player Shane Daly is another making his debut as he joins Haley and Darren Sweetnam in the back three.

The pre-season centre combination of Rory Scannell and Dan Goggin remain unchanged for the tournament opener.

Neil Cronin, who last featured in the competition as a replacement in March 2015, partners up with JJ Hanrahan in the halfbacks.

In the front row returning international prop John Ryan makes his first appearance of the season as he scrums down next to Mike Sherry and Dave Kilcoyne.

Captain Billy Holland and Jean Kleyn continue their partnership in the second row with Dave O’Callaghan, Tommy O’Donnell and Botha forming the back row.

Included in the replacements are Rhys Marshall and Stephen Archer who are in line to make first appearances of the season, with Archer overcoming the pectoral injury he sustained against Edinburgh in May. 

After impressing in the pre-season campaign Academy back row Gavin Coombes is included in his first Pro14 squad.

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The Munster team is: 

Mike Haley; Darren Sweetnam, Dan Goggin, Rory Scannell, Shane Daly; JJ Hanrahan, Neil Cronin; Dave Kilcoyne, Mike Sherry, John Ryan; Jean Kleyn, Billy Holland (C); Dave O’Callaghan, Tommy O’Donnell, Arno Botha.

Replacements: Rhys Marshall, Brian Scott, Stephen Archer, Darren O’Shea, Gavin Coombes, James Hart, Joey Carbery, Sammy Arnold.

African News Agency (ANA)


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