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First start for Frisch as Munster name team to play South Africa A

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Graham Rowntree has named his Munster team to take on South Africa A in Cork on Thursday, changing seven of the XV beaten by Ulster last time out in the URC and handing new signing Antoine Frisch his first start.

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Frisch, the Irish-qualified Frenchman, joined Munster on a three-year deal from Bristol during the summer but having debuted off the bench in Cardiff in September, he was injured in South Africa when touring with Simon Easterby’s Emerging Ireland and it is only now that he is poised to wear the No13 Munster shirt for the first time.

A statement read: “The sell-out game will see 41,400 supporters make their way to Pairc Ui Chaoimh for the largest-ever attendance at a rugby game in the province. There are seven changes to the side that faced Ulster at Thomond Park last time out. Jack O’Donoghue captains Munster with three academy players named in the squad.

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“Academy lock Edwin Edogbo keeps his place in the second row with Cian Hurley and Patrick Campbell among the replacements. Antoine Frisch makes his first start for Munster after recovering from a calf injury suffered on the Emerging Ireland tour to South Africa.

“Kiran McDonald partners Edogbo in the second row on his first Munster appearance after joining on a short-term deal last month. Simon Zebo, Ben Healy, Josh Wycherley, Roman Salanoa and Gavin Coombes also come into the starting XV.”

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Former All Blacks midfielder Malakai Fekitoa has been named on the bench following last weekend’s international duty with Tonga. Rory Scannell and Niall Scannell are the only two players in the Munster matchday 23 squad who played in the Irish province’s last game against a touring side, the Maori All Blacks, in 2016.

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MUNSTER: 15. Mike Haley; 14. Shane Daly, 13. Antoine Frisch, 12. Rory Scannell, 11. Simon Zebo; 10. Ben Healy, 9. Paddy Patterson; 1. Josh Wycherley, 2. Diarmuid Barron, 3. Roman Salanoa, 4. Edwin Edogbo, 5. Kiran McDonald, 6. Jack O’Donoghue (capt), 7. John Hodnett, 8. Gavin Coombes. Reps: 16. Niall Scannell, 17. Liam O’Connor, 18. Keynan Knox, 19. Cian Hurley, 20. Alex Kendellen, 21. Neil Cronin, 22. Patrick Campbell, 23. Malakai Fekitoa.

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