COVID-RAVAGED Munster have announced that five debutants will start the game for Sunday's Heineken Champions Cup opener against Wasps in Coventry. Johann van Graan also had seven debutants on a bench of eight.
These players were not included on the abandoned tour of South Africa despite the South African head coach saying otherwise.
Chris Farrell returns to the stacked Munster's backline, it's his first game since returning from injury. A former Cork minor footballer, Patrick Campbell could also make his debut despite joining Munster's academy last month.
— Munster Rugby (@Munsterrugby) December 10, 2021
Dave Kilcoyne, Tadhg Beirne and captain Peter O'Mahony included, as well as John Hodnett who has recovered from injury.
Veterans Andrew Conway, Keith Earls, Joey Carbery, Conor Murray, Damian de Allende make up a formidable backline. Captain Peter O'Mahony, Tadhg Beirne, and Dave Kilcoyne return with John Hodnett
19-year-old Limerick man Daniel Okeke starting at number eight will make up one of the four of the starting pack making debuts
Beirne will be joined in the second row by Waterford's Eoin O'Connor for his first start, while Scott Buckley and James French, the Cork duo make their debuts.
The two-time champions will be seriously tested later in the game, with seven of their eight replacements in line to make their debuts for the province.
Roman Salanoa is the only one of those who has first-team experience. Summer addition Declan Moore and Academy quartet Mark Donnelly, Ethan Coughlan, Tony Butler and Jonathan Wren are all included.
Also named are Cork Constitution's John Forde, a product of PBC and member of the Provincial Talent Squad, and Young Munster’s Conor Moloney, a member of the National Talent Squad.
Munster: Patrick Campbell; Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Damian de Allende, Keith Earls; Joey Carbery, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Scott Buckley, James French; Eoin O’Connor, Tadhg Beirne; Peter O’Mahony (capt), John Hodnett, Daniel Okeke.
Replacements: Declan Moore, Mark Donnelly, Roman Salanoa, John Forde, Conor Moloney, Ethan Coughlan, Tony Butler, Jonathan Wren.