Munster as you were as Keith Earls is passed fit

Munster director of rugby Rassie Erasmus will field the starting XV which put Leicester Tigers to the sword in Limerick last week when the teams reconvene at Welford Road this afternoon for their Champions Cup pool rematch.

Ireland wing Keith Earls had been the only fitness doubt after last Saturday’s 38-0 bonus-point win over the English giants but he has recovered from a slight groin strain to take his place in the Munster back three as Erasmus bids for a third straight win in Pool 1.

There is one change on the replacements bench at loosehead prop where James Cronin, who scored two tries on his return from injury for Munster A at Rotherham last week, has been named in place of new signing Thomas du Toit.

Munster have won twice at Welford Road, the only side to do so in European competition having defeated the Tigers in the 2003 quarter-finals and a 2006 pool encounter but Leicester have never lost both games to the same side in a back-to-back fixture.

Richard Cockerill, the South African’s opposite number, has been dealt a further blow to his injury-hit selection options with Freddie Burns’s absence at fly-half following the concussion he suffered at Thomond Park seven days ago.

Burns, the Premiership player of the month for November, is replaced in the 10 jersey by Owen Williams who switches from inside centre. As a result, Manu Tuilagi moves from 13 to 12 with Jack Roberts, a Champions Cup debutant as an outside back replacement last week, filling the breach at outside centre.

There are two further changes to the Tigers line-up with South African international Pat Cilliers starting at tighthead prop, and Luke Hamilton also coming off the bench from last week to replace blindside flanker Mike Fitzgerald, who passed his Head Injury Assessment having failed to finish the game at Thomond Park.

More on this topic

Best still to come from hungry HaleyBest still to come from hungry Haley

Stubborn Bleyendaal continues to put neck on the lineStubborn Bleyendaal continues to put neck on the line

O’Mahony parks the hurt and reconnectsO’Mahony parks the hurt and reconnects

Sarries saga a cold reminder of rugby realities after World CupSarries saga a cold reminder of rugby realities after World Cup


Lifestyle

I’d always promised myself a day off school when Gay Bryne died.Secret diary of an Irish teacher: I’ve been thinking about my students, wondering who their ‘Gay Byrne’ will be

In an industry where women battle ageism and sexism, Meryl Streep has managed to decide her own destiny – and roles, writes Suzanne HarringtonJeepers Streepers: Hollywood royalty, all hail queen Meryl

'Ask Audrey' has been the newspaper's hysterical agony aunt “for ages, like”.Ask Audrey: Guten tag. Vot the f**k is the story with your cycle lanes?

Daphne Wright’s major new exhibition at the Crawford addresses such subjects as ageing and consumerism, writes Colette SheridanFinding inspiration in domestic situations

More From The Irish Examiner