Joey Carbery is set to start his first match for Munster since their May 2019 Guinness PRO14 semi-final loss to Leinster in Dublin.
The out-half, who limped off before half-time in a Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final at Edinburgh the month prior to that loss in Dublin, has continued to endure an injury-hit campaign this season.
Stretchered away from Ireland’s World Cup warm-up win over Italy last August, he made it back to make three appearances off the bench at the finals in Japan for Ireland.
However, he returned to Limerick with an aggravation of his ankle injury that has only recently come right. He appeared as a replacement in last weekend’s PRO14 loss to Leinster and will now wear the No10 shirt when his province visits Ulster on Friday night.
His comeback – if successful – could be very timely for Ireland given that Johnny Sexton, the talisman Carbery shadowed at the World Cup, has been injured since early December.
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RugbyPass recently interviewed David Wallace, the former Munster, Ireland and Lions star
Carbery is one of ten changes to Munster’s starting line-up as they head to Belfast, Shane Daly, Sammy Arnold, Rory Scannell, Fineen Wycherley and Jack O’Donoghue the five to keep their places. Peter O’Mahony returns to captain the side with Andrew Conway and Keith Earls coming into the side on the wings.
Iain Henderson and Jacob Stockdale, meanwhile, return for Ulster as two of three changes to the side that recorded a bonus-point victory against Connacht last weekend.
ULSTER: Will Addison; Robert Baloucoune, Luke Marshall, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale; Billy Burns, John Cooney; Jack McGrath, Rob Herring, Marty Moore, Alan O’Connor, Iain Henderson (capt), Matthew Rea, Sean Reidy, Nick Timoney. Reps: John Andrew, Kyle McCall, Tom O’Toole, David O’Connor, Greg Jones, David Shanahan, Bill Johnston, Craig Gilroy.
MUNSTER: Shane Daly; Andrew Conway, Sammy Arnold, Rory Scannell, Keith Earls; Joey Carbery, Conor Murray; Jeremy Loughman, Niall Scannell, Keynan Knox, Fineen Wycherley, Darren O’Shea, Peter O’Mahony (capt), Jack O’Donoghue, Arno Botha. Reps: Diarmuid Barron, Dave Kilcoyne, John Ryan, Gavin Coombes, Jack O’Sullivan, Neil Cronin, Dan Goggin, Chris Cloete.
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