Carbery set to start for Munster as Ireland internationals return

MUNSTER ARE SET to field their strongest possible team in Saturday’s Guinness Pro14 final as they look to end their 10-year trophy drought, while Leinster are also set to welcome back a host of Ireland internationals.

The decider falls just a week after Ireland’s final Six Nations game against England and the weekend before the provinces’ Champions Cup round-of-16 ties, but it’s understood that IRFU player management has not had any impact on selection decisions.

As such, Munster and Leinster are ready to welcome back their frontline players for the final at the RDS [KO 5pm, eir Sport/TG4].

Joey Carbery is set to start at out-half for Munster following his successful return from a long-term ankle injury in recent weeks and looks likely to partner Conor Murray in the halfbacks.

CJ Stander will be back in red, hoping to finally win a trophy with Munster before retiring at the end of the season, with captain Peter O’Mahony and Gavin Coombes also in line to start in the back row.

Dave Kilcoyne suffered a head injury in Ireland’s win over England last weekend and it remains to be seen if he comes through the return-to-play protocols, meaning James Cronin could start at loosehead prop. Niall Scannell may get the nod at hooker, with Stephen Archer possibly at tighthead.

Tadhg Beirne looks set to carry his Six Nations form back into Munster’s second row alongside Jean Kleyn.

Keith Earls is expected to return in the back three alongside Mike Haley and Andrew Conway, while Damian de Allende and Chris Farrell combine in midfield.

Meanwhile, Leinster are also set to welcome back the likes of Robbie Henshaw, Rhys Ruddock, Josh van der Flier, Jack Conan, Rónan Kelleher, Jordan Larmour, Cian Healy, Tadhg Furlong, and Ireland captain Johnny Sexton to their matchday 23, with several of them in line to start.

Munster and Leinster are due to name their matchday 23s at midday tomorrow.  

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