A fit-again Mike Haley, and two returning Ireland internationals are the changes made by Graham Rowntree for Saturday’s must-win BKT URC clash with Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park.
Munster are looking to make it six wins from six in the league and leapfrog Glasgow into the top four in their final regular-season home game of the URC campaign. With two away matches in South Africa comprising their last two fixtures, a victory on home turf is crucial, particularly against a direct rival for one of the four available home quarter-final berths.
Full-back Haley makes his comeback from an ankle injury that has sidelined him since January while head coach Rowntree welcomes back two members of Ireland’s Grand Slam-winning squad in Jack Crowley and Dave Kilcoyne.
Both got playing time in the clean sweep, though Crowley, who was a replacement at fly-half against Italy in round three, starts at inside centre for his province in a midfield partnership with Malakai Fekitoa moving from 12 to 13 following a “low-grade leg injury” to Antoine Frisch.
Joey Carbery continues at number 10 in a settled half-back pairing with Paddy Patterson.
Kilcoyne moves into the front row at loosehead prop alongside hooker Diarmuid Barron and uncapped Ireland squad member Roman Salanoa at tighthead, continuing his occupation of the number three jersey for the fourth game in a row having started the three bonus-point wins over Benetton, Ospreys and Scarlets.
Jean Kleyn and Fineen Wycherley combine for their fourth game in succession as the second row while Jack O’Donoghue captains the side from blindside flanker in an unchanged back row with openside John Hodnett and No.8 Gavin Coombes.
Another Grand Slam winner, Craig Casey, returns to the matchday squad as replacement scrum-half on a bench that sees lock RG Snyman selected for his second appearance of the campaign having returned from a long-term injury in the victory over Scarlets.
Hooker Scott Buckley, tighthead Stephen Archer, back-rower Alex Kendellen, centre Rory Scannell and record try scorer Simon Zebo make up the replacements.
Munster said Frisch was expected to return to training next week.
Glasgow boss Franco Smith brings the Scottish club to Limerick for their first trip since 2018 with nine Scotland Six Nations squad members returning for duty as they look to extend their two-point lead over fifth-placed Munster in the URC standings.
Tighthead Zander Fagerson and hooker Fraser Brown return to the front row, lock Scott Cummings is back at lock while blindside flanker Matt Fagerson comes in the back row having finished the Six Nations as the competition’s top tackler.
Lions Test starter Ali Price is in at scrum-half but veteran lock Richie Gray is out with the rib injury he sustained in Scotland’s home defeat by Ireland a fortnight ago.
M Haley; C Nash, M Fekitoa, J Crowley, S Daly; J Carbery, P Patterson; D Kilcoyne, D Barron, R Salanoa; J Kleyn, F Wycherley; J O’Donoghue - captain, J Hodnett, G Coombes.
S Buckley, J Wycherley, S Archer, RG Snyman, A Kendellen, C Casey, R Scannell, S Zebo.
O Smith; C Forbes, S McDowall – captain, S Johnson, J Dobie; D Miotti, A Price; N McBeth, F Brown, Z Fagerson; JP du Preez, S Cummings; M Fagerson, R Darge, S Vailanu.
J Matthews, A Dell, L Sordoni, L Bean, A Samuel, T Gordon, G Horne, T Jordan.