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Munster and Saracens name teams


Munster and Saracens name teams for Champions Cup semi-final

Munster Head Coach Johann van Graan has made 12 changes to the side that earned an impressive win away to Benetton in Italy last weekend for Saturday’s record 14th Champions Cup semi-final against Saracens at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.

Mike Haley, Darren Sweetnam and Jack O’Donoghue are the only players to keep their places.

Keith Earls, who scored two tries in Munster’s quarter-final win over Edinburgh, misses out due to injury having failed to make it through this week’s training.

Munster captain Peter O’Mahony leads the side on his 50th Champions Cup appearance. O’Mahony has started each of his 49 appearances in the competition to date, including all 23 of the province’s Champions Cup games over the last three seasons.

Haley starts at full-back with Andrew Conway and Sweetnam on either flank.

Joey Carbery’s hamstring injury means that Tyler Bleyendaal is at 10, with Conor Murray alongside him. Rory Scannell and Chris Farrell form the centre partnership.

Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell and John Ryan pack down in the front row with Jean Kleyn and Tadhg Beirne in the engine room.

O’Mahony, O’Donoghue and CJ Stander complete the starting XV.

Saracens are at full strength, with loosehead Mako Vunipola making his first appearance for the club since January after picking up ankle ligament damage playing for England against France during the Six Nations.

Captain Brad Barritt has recovered from an ankle injury and is in the centre alongside Alex Lozowski, while Welsh international Liam Williams is back on the wing.

George Kruis will make his 50th Champions Cup appearance, he’s in the second row alongside Maro Itoje.

Ben Spencer forms a halfback partnership with England captain Owen Farrell, while replacement scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth in line to make his 100th European appearance if he comes off the bench.

In total Saracens have made 10 changes to their starting team which lost 23-21 to Bristol Bears in the Gallagher Premiership last weekend.

USA international tighthead Titi Lamositele keeps his place in the front row.

Munster team to play Saracens:
15. Mike Haley, 14. Andrew Conway, 13. Chris Farrell, 12. Rory Scannell, 11. Darren Sweetnam, 10. Tyler Bleyendaal, 9. Conor Murray, 1. Dave Kilcoyne, 2. Niall Scannell, 3. John Ryan, 4. Jean Kleyn, 5. Tadhg Beirne, 6. Peter O’Mahony (c), 7. Jack O’Donoghue, 8. CJ Stander.
16. Rhys Marshall, 17. Jeremy Loughman, 18. Stephen Archer, 19. Billy Holland, 20. Arno Botha, 21. Alby Mathewson, 22. JJ Hanrahan, 23. Dan Goggin.

Saracens team to play Munster:
15. Alex Goode, 14. Sean Maitland, 13. Alex Lozowski, 12. Brad Barritt (c), 11. Liam Williams, 10. Owen Farrell, 9. Ben Spencer, 1. Mako Vunipola, 2. Jamie George, 3. Titi Lamositele, 4. Maro Itoje, 5. George Kruis, 6. Michael Rhodes, 7. Jackson Wray, 8. Billy Vunipola.
16. Joe Gray, 17. Richard Barrington, 18. Vincent Koch, 19. Will Skelton, 20. Schalk Burger, 21. Richard Wigglesworth, 22. Nick Tompkins, 23. David Strettle,

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Munster and Saracens name teams for Champions Cup semi-final
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