Saturday 22 September 2018

Keatley, Holland and Ryan return for Reds

Munster’s Ian Keatley. Pic: Sportsfile
Munster’s Ian Keatley. Pic: Sportsfile

This is undoubtedly the Match of the Day as Munster get their show back on the road at The Ospreys in the PRO12 League this evening.

Irish internationals Ian Keatley, Billy Holland and John Ryan have all been released as second host first.

The loss of second row Jean Kleyn (neck) and centre Jaco Taute (shoulder) for 8-10 weeks and two weeks, respectively, could just be the difference.

The fact Francis Saili is ready and able to fill the number thirteen shirt will neutralise the omission of South African Taute.

It is the physical presence of Kleyn that has come at the wrong time of the season with the Champions Cup quarter-final out of reach.

There is plenty of beef up front with lock Darren O'Shea, hooker Rhys Marshall and loose-head David Kilcoyne characters who relish the confrontational side of the game.

The most interesting face-off will come at out-half where Tyler Bleyendaal keeps the captaincy for Munster.

Former U20 World Player of the Year Sam Davies has been in superb form.

It could come down to which man wields the greater influence.

Ospreys: D Evans; K Giles, K Fonotia, A Beck, H Dirksen; S Davies, T Habberfield (capt); N Smith, S Badlwin, R Jones, L Ashley, R Thornton, O Cracknell, S Underhill, J King.

Munster: I Keatley; R O'Mahony, F Saili, R Scannell; T Bleyendaal (capt), D Williams; D Kilcoyne, R Marshall, J Ryan, D O'Shea, B Holland, D O'Callaghan, T O'Donnell, J O'Donoghue.

Verdict: Munster

Ospreys v Munster, Today, live Sky Sports 1 (KO 5.15)

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