Team news: Farrell starts but O’Donoghue misses out on Munster side to face Scarlets

Chris Farrell returns to the Munster team as Johann van Graan makes five changes ahead of Saturday's Guinness PRO14 match against Scarlets at Thomond Park (5pm).

Team news: Farrell starts but O’Donoghue misses out on Munster side to face Scarlets

Chris Farrell returns to the Munster team as Johann van Graan makes five changes ahead of Saturday's Guinness PRO14 match against Scarlets at Thomond Park (5pm).

Farrell was one of two international squad members released to the province as Ireland face a lay-off until their next Six Nations game against France on March 14, however, the other, Jack O’Donoghue, misses out due to injury.

O’Donoghue aggravated an existing neck issue at the end of last week, which hasn’t settled sufficiently to allow him train fully since.

Also ruled out in the short-term are Niall Scannell and Shane Daly. Scannell, who captained Munster in their 28-0 win over Zebre, departed after 20 minutes as he suffered a low-grade knee injury.

Daly, meanwhile, underwent a scan earlier this week that showed a low-grade groin strain. He didn't train this week but will be included as a reserve on Saturday.

Billy Holland returns to captain Munster, with Kevin O’Byrne and Stephen Archer introduced to the front-row, and Dan Goggin drafted into the centre alongside Farrell.

That means Scannell, Darren O’Shea, and Sammy Arnold drop out of the matchday squad, with John Ryan and Rory Scannell on the bench.

Academy back-row Jack O’Sullivan keeps his place at no.8 to make his seventh senior appearance, while Diarmuid Barron and John Hodnett are included among the replacements.

Darren Sweetnam, after making a try-scoring return from injury against Zebre, continues in an unchanged back-three, while Craig Casey and JJ Hanrahan are retained in the half-backs.

Munster: Mike Haley; Calvin Nash, Chris Farrell, Dan Goggin, Darren Sweetnam; JJ Hanrahan, Craig Casey; James Cronin, Kevin O’Byrne, Stephen Archer; Fineen Wycherley, Billy Holland (c); Arno Botha, Chris Cloete, Jack O’Sullivan.

Replacements: Diarmuid Barron, Jeremy Loughman, John Ryan, Gavin Coombes, John Hodnett, Nick McCarthy, Rory Scannell, Tommy O’Donnell.

Irish internationals Ultan Dillane and Dave Heffernan have both been included in the Connacht squad to face the Southern Kings this Sunday at Port Elizabeth (1pm Irish time).

The pair were both released from the Ireland camp following the postponement of the Six Nations tie with Italy, and duly met up with the squad for the one-match trip to South Africa.

Dillane starts in the second row alongside Joe Maksymiw, with Heffernan named among the replacements.

In all, there are six changes from the side that lost to Edinburgh last weekend.

Paddy McAllister is drafted back into the front row alongside Shane Delahunt, while there’s also a start for prop Dominic Robertson-McCoy following an ankle injury to Finlay Bealham.

The back row is unchanged for the third straight game, with Jarrad Butler captaining the side at number 8, with flankers Paul Boyle and Colby Fainga’a alongside him.

Caolin Blade comes back into the starting side to partner Jack Carty in the half-back positions, while there’s also a change at centre where Tom Daly is named alongside Kyle Godwin.

The final swap comes on the wing where Connacht’s record try-scorer Matt Healy makes up a back three with John Porch and Tiernan O’Halloran.

Connacht: Tiernan O’Halloran; John Porch, Kyle Godwin, Tom Daly, Matt Healy; Jack Carty, Caolin Blade; Paddy McAllister, Shane Delahunt, Dominic Robertson-McCoy; Ultan Dillane, Joe Maksymiw; Paul Boyle, Colby Fainga’a, Jarrad Butler (c).

Replacements: Dave Heffernan, Denis Buckley, Conor Kenny, Eoghan Masterson, Eoin McKeon, Kieran Marmion, Conor Fitzgerald, Peter Robb.

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CourtsRugbyMunster RugbyPlace: Thomond ParkPlace: Port ElizabethPlace: IrelandPlace: South AfricaPlace: EdinburghPerson: FarrellPerson: O’DonoghuePerson: Chris FarrellPerson: Johann van GraanPerson: Jack O’DonoghuePerson: Niall ScannellPerson: Shane DalyPerson: ScannellPerson: DalyPerson: Billy HollandPerson: Kevin O’ByrnePerson: Stephen ArcherPerson: Dan GogginPerson: Darren O’SheaPerson: Sammy ArnoldPerson: John RyanPerson: Rory ScannellPerson: Jack O’SullivanPerson: Diarmuid BarronPerson: John HodnettPerson: Darren SweetnamPerson: ZebrePerson: Craig CaseyPerson: JJ HanrahanPerson: Mike HaleyPerson: Calvin NashPerson: James CroninPerson: Fineen WycherleyPerson: Arno BothaPerson: Chris CloetePerson: Jeremy LoughmanPerson: Gavin CoombesPerson: Nick McCarthyPerson: Tommy O’DonnellPerson: Ultan DillanePerson: Dave HeffernanPerson: DillanePerson: Joe MaksymiwPerson: HeffernanPerson: Paddy McAllisterPerson: Shane DelahuntPerson: Dominic Robertson-McCoyPerson: Finlay BealhamPerson: Jarrad ButlerPerson: Paul BoylePerson: Colby Fainga’aPerson: Caolin BladePerson: Jack CartyPerson: Tom DalyPerson: Kyle GodwinPerson: Matt HealyPerson: John PorchPerson: Tiernan O’HalloranPerson: Denis BuckleyPerson: Conor KennyPerson: Eoghan MastersonPerson: Eoin McKeonPerson: Kieran MarmionPerson: Conor FitzgeraldPerson: Peter RobbPerson: DuncanEvent: Guinness PRO14Event: Six NationsEvent: AILOrganisation: MunsterOrganisation: ScarletsOrganisation: IrelandOrganisation: FranceOrganisation: ConnachtOrganisation: Southern KingsOrganisation: Italy
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