The Munster head coach has named three academy players in the matchday 23
By Benjamin Geary
Munster will take on the South African Springboks ‘A’ side on Thursday evening at the Cork GAA ground Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
41,000 spectators will fill the stands of the legendary ground to witness the first-ever rugby game to be played at the venue.
Rowntree has named new signing Antoine Frisch at outside centre, giving the former Bristol Bear his first start for the province since returning from injury.
Frisch is named in midfield with Munster centurion and Cork native Rory Scannell, with Paddy Paterson and Ben Healy as the half backs.
Simon Zebo, Shane Daly and Mike Haley make up the back three while a youthful pack will entertain the South African A side’s version of the Bomb Squad.
Edwin Edogbo retains the number four jersey from Munster’s narrow loss to Ulster two weeks ago and is partnered by Scotsman and debutant Kiran McDonald, who joined the club on a short term deal in October.
Josh Wycherley, Diarmuid Barron and Roman Salanoa are named in the front row. Jack O’Donoghue will captain the province again and is named in the back row alongside John Hodnett and Gavin Coombes.
New signing Malakai Fekitoa is named among the replacements, along with Niall Scannell, Liam O’Connor, Kenyan Knox, Alex Kendellen and Neil Cronin.
There will be a few familiar faces among the South Africans, as two former players in the form of Jason Jenkins and Thomas du Toit will start, with du Toit wearing the armband.
The game kicks-off at 7:30 pm on Thursday the 10th of November. Coverage will be broadcast live on Virgin Media 2 and on the Virgin Media Player.
Munster: Mike Haley; Shane Daly, Antoine Frisch, Rory Scannell, Simon Zebo; Ben Healy, Paddy Patterson; Josh Wycherley, Diarmuid Barron, Roman Salanoa; Edwin Edogbo, Kiran McDonald; Jack O’Donoghue (C),John Hodnett, Gavin Coombes.
Replacements: Niall Scannell, Liam O’Connor, Keynan Knox, Cian Hurley, Alex Kendellen, Neil Cronin, Patrick Campbell, Malakai Fekitoa.
South Africa ‘A’: Aphelele Fassi; Suleiman Hartzenberg, Henco van Wyk, Cornal Hendricks, Leolin Zas; Johan Goosen, Herschel Jantjies; Ntuthuko Mchunu, Joseph Dweba, Thomas du Toit (C); Jason Jenkins, Ruan Nortje; Phepsi Buthelezi, Elrigh Louw, Jean-Luc du Preez.
Replacements: Andre-Hugo Venter, Simphiwe Matanzima, Sazi Sandi, Dan du Preez, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Grant Williams, Sanele Nohamba, Gianni Lombard.