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Sunday 22 July 2018

Grobler grabs first start for Reds

Spotlight: Grobler
Spotlight: Grobler

Gerbrandt Grobler will make his full debut for Munster against Cardiff Blues at The Arms Park this evening (KO5.30, Sky Sports Action).

The South African received the warmest of embraces from the Munster support when making his first appearance off the bench last week.

There are ten changes in total as Jack O'Donoghue captains for the first time.

The enigmatic Robin Copeland, playing against his former club, and Chris Cloete complete an athletic back row which can prosper, especially when the game breaks up.

Tyler Bleyendaal will see game minutes, from the bench, for the first time since a neck injury in October.

The good news just keeps on coming in the shape of contract extensions for Andrew Conway, who has signed on for two more years, and Stephen Fitzgerald, on a one-year development deal.

The latter will make his first start this season with fit-again Ronan O'Mahony doing likewise.

Centre Rory Scannell,loose-head Dave Kilcoyne and tight-head John Ryan will each be playing with a chip on their shoulders given how Ireland selections have gone.

Munster will have to show up and take the points to protect their spot in second-place in Conference A as The Cheetahs hover seven points behind in third.

Cardiff: R Williams; A Summerhill, G Smith, R Lee-Lo, O Lane; J Evans, L Williams; G Jenkins (capt), M Rees, T Filise, G Earle, S Davies, M Cook, E Jenkins, N Williams. Replacements: K Myhill, R Gill, D Lewis, J Turnbull, O Robinson; T Williams, S Shingler, R Edwards.

Munster: S Fitzgerald; D Sweetnam, S Arnold, R Scannell, R O'Mahony; I Keatley, D Williams; D Kilcoyne, R Marshall, J Ryan, G Grobler, D O'Shea, J O'Donoghue (capt), C Cloete, R Copeland. Replacements: M Sherry, J Cronin, S Archer, J Kleyn, D O'Callaghan; J Hart, T Bleyendaal, S Zebo.

Verdict: Munster

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