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Munster make four changes for Ospreys’ visit

MUNSTER have made four changes from the side that started against Ulster for tomorrow night’s Guinness PRO12 encounter with high flying Ospreys at Irish Independent Park, ko 7.35pm. Tyler Bleyendaal is back at ten with Stephen Archer, Darren O’Shea and Robin Copeland all starting in the pack.
Linking up with the squad this week, new signing Rhys Marshall is named in his first matchday squad. The hooker joins from Super Rugby side the Chiefs after penning a three-year deal that will see him stay with the province until June 2019.
Should they appear from the bench, development prop Peter McCabe and Young Munster scrum half Abrie Griesel will make their first PRO12 appearances.
Munster v Ospreys, Guinness PRO12 round 8, Friday November 4th at Irish Independent Park, ko 7.35pm.
Munster XV: Andrew Conway; Darren Sweetnam, Jaco Taute, Rory Scannell, Ronan O’Mahony; Tyler Bleyendaal, Duncan Williams; Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell, Stephen Archer; Darren O’Shea, Robin Copeland; Peter O’Mahony Capt., Tommy O’Donnell, Jack O’Donoghue.
Replacements: Rhys Marshall, Peter McCabe, Brian Scott, John Madigan, Conor Oliver, Abrie Griesel, Ian Keatley, Alex Wootton.
Tickets can be purchased from www.munsterrugby.ie and from the Munster Rugby Ticket Offices in Irish Independent Park and Thomond Park, or at the ground on matchday. Prices from: Adult €20, Junior €7, Student €7, Family €40.
Ospreys: Dan Evans; Keelan Giles, Ben John, Ashley Beck, Eli Walker; Josh Matavesi, Tom Habberfield (Capt); Paul James, Sam Parry, Dmitri Arhip; Lloyd Ashley, Adam Beard; Rob McCusker, Olly Cracknell, Joe Bearman.
Replacements, 16 Hugh Gustafson, 17 Gareth Thomas, 18 Ma’afu Fia, 19 Rhodri Jones, 20 Scott Otten, 21 Brendon Leonard, 22 Jonathan Spratt, 23 Dafydd Howells.
The Ospreys have had a share of injuries with Tyler Ardron, thumb, Hanno Dirksen, knee, Jeff Hassler, Achilles and Owen Watkin knee all out as wwell as their international call-up players Nicky Smith, Scott Baldwin, Bradley Davies, Alun Wyn Jones, Rory Thornton, Dan Baker, James King, Dan Lydiate, Justin Tipuric, Rhys Webb, Dan Biggar, Sam Davies
Commenting on the game, Ospreys coach Steve Tandy, commented: “Going away to Munster is always one of the most difficult challenges in the PRO12. Going there minus 12 boys with Wales makes it even tougher. In fairness to this group of players, they haven’t shirked anything, they’ve risen to all the challenges presented to them this season, and they are going to have to go again on Friday night.
“There’s a good vibe in the squad. They understand what they are walking into and are ready to go. We’ve seen time after time how they thrive in adversity and that spirit will have to be there again if we are going to get something out of this game.
“We’ve made a good start to the season but international windows go a long way to shaping how the season pans out. The bonus point win last weekend against the Dragons gives us some momentum for the two away games coming up in the PRO12, against Munster and Glagow, but we realise that we can lose that momentum quickly if we aren’t on the ball.
“You look at any year where we’ve done well in this competition and you’ll see that we’ve picked up points in these periods. That’s the challenge that we face and, whatever players are pulling on the shirt, they know what standards are expected of them, regardless of any outside factors.”

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