Fitness boost for Munster as props return for Connacht clash, while Casey gets first start

Dave Kilcoyne makes his return from a calf injury to start for Munster against Connacht in tomorrow's PRO14 clash.

Fitness boost for Munster as props return for Connacht clash, while Casey gets first start

Dave Kilcoyne makes his return from a calf injury to start for Munster against Connacht in tomorrow's PRO14 clash.

The loosehead prop is one of 10 changes including a first competitive start for scrum-half Craig Casey. The Limerick-native helped Ireland to an Under-20 Grand Slam last spring and has already made two appearances from the bench for Johann van Graan's men.

Skibbereen cousins Liam and Gavin Coombes start together for the first time for Munster, in the back-three and back-row respectively.

CJ Stander retains his place and the captaincy, alongside out-half JJ Hanrahan, centre Chris Farrell, and second-row pairing Jean Kleyn and Billy Holland.

Shane Daly, Calvin Nash, and Dan Goggin come into the backs, with Kevin O’Byrne, Stephen Archer, and Chris Cloete completing the pack.

Kilcoyne's rival for the loosehead prop spot, Jeremy Loughman, also returns from an ankle injury to take his place on the bench. He's joined there by academy trio Diarmuid Barron, Keynan Knox, and Ben Healy.

Tiernan O’Halloran returns from injury for Connacht to start at full-back in the game at the Sportsground between the top-two teams in Conference B. He's joined by John Porch and Kyle Godwin in the back-three.

Quinn Roux will captain the side on his 100th Connacht appearance, with Jarrad Butler ruled out due to illness.

Former Munster Academy player Conor Fitzgerald continues his half-back partnership with Caolin Blade, who has now featured in all 11 of Connacht’s games so far this season, while Tom Daly has forced his way into the starting team alongside Bundee Aki in the centre.

In the forwards, the tight five has a very familiar look, with props Denis Buckley and Finlay Bealham alongside hooker Dave Heffernan, while Ultan Dillane will line up alongside Roux in the second-row.

Eoghan Masterson, Paul Boyle, and Eoin McKeon make up the back-row.

Connacht: Tiernan O’Halloran; John Porch, Tom Daly, Bundee Aki, Kyle Godwin; Conor Fitzgerald, Caolin Blade; Denis Buckley, Dave Heffernan, Finlay Bealham; Ultan Dillane, Quinn Roux (Capt); Eoghan Masterson, Paul Boyle, Eoin McKeon.

Replacements: Shane Delahunt, Conor Kenny, Dominic Robertson McCoy, Joe Maksymiw, Robin Copeland, Stephen Kerins, Jack Carty, Stephen Fitzgerald.

Munster: Shane Daly; Calvin Nash, Chris Farrell, Dan Goggin, Liam Coombes; JJ Hanrahan, Craig Casey; Dave Kilcoyne, Kevin O’Byrne, Stephen Archer; Jean Kleyn, Billy Holland; Gavin Coombes, Chris Cloete, CJ Stander (c).

Replacements: Diarmuid Barron, Jeremy Loughman, Keynan Knox, Fineen Wycherley, Jack O’Donoghue, Neil Cronin, Ben Healy, Sammy Arnold.

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