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All The Team News Ahead Of This Weekend’s Interprovincial Derbies

This weekend in the Guinness PRO14 sees a whole bunch of derby fixtures as the 14 teams look to end their season on a high.

Munster host Ulster at Thomond Park on Saturday while Connacht host Leinster at the Sportsground on Saturday afternoon.

Munster v Ulster (17:35)

Munster have named a much-changed side from their Champions Cup semi-final loss to Racing 92 in Bordeaux. The starting XV is almost completely changed as Mike Sherry returns to the team to captain the side from hooker.

JJ Hanrahan and Duncan Williams form the halfbacks while there is a place on the bench for Bill Johnston which is exciting for Munster supporters as he has long been heralded as the future for Munster in the out-half position.

Munster have a home quarter-final already sown up so Johann van Graan is clearly keeping an eye on that fixture next weekend.

Ulster, meanwhile, have named a much stronger team as they look to secure a bonus-point win against Munster which would secure them an unlikely playoff spot but only if Edinburgh manage to lose against the Glasgow Warriors.

The big omission┬áis Charles Piutau who misses out because of family reasons. Louis Ludik takes up the full-back spot as a result while Jacob Stockdale and Craig Gilroy complete the back-three. Rory Best returns to captain the side while Iain Henderson partners Alan O’Connor in the engine room.

John Cooney is unavailable due to a concussion so Dave Shanahan starts at scrum-half alongside Johnny McPhillips who is at 10.

Connacht v Leinster (15:05)

It’s set to be an emotional day at the Sportsground in Galway as John Muldoon makes his last ever appearance for the men in green. Muldoon captains the side at 8 and Denis Buckley and Finlay Bealham start at loosehead and tighthead, respectively.

Kieran Keane’s side have named an exiting looking backline which includes Niyi Adeolukun, Tiernan O’Halloran, Matt Healy and Bundee Aki.

Leinster have also made plenty of changes after their Champions Cup victory over Scarlets. Jack McGrath captains the side while Ross Bryne and Joey Carbery, who have both been the subject of speculation of a move to Ulster, start at out-half and full-back, respectively.

15. Joey Carbery (34)
14. Barry Daly (25)
13. Tom Daly (9)
12. Noel Reid (99)
11. James Lowe (10)
10. Ross Byrne (47)
9. Nick McCarthy (25)
1. Jack McGrath (129) CAPTAIN
2. James Tracy (62)
3. Andrew Porter (26)
4. Ross Molony (63)
5. Mick Kearney (34)
6. Max Deegan (19)
7. Peadar Timmins (12)
8. Jack Conan (70)

16. Seán Cronin (149)
17. Cian Healy (187)
18. Michael Bent (105)
19. Devin Toner (214)
20. Jordi Murphy (104)
21. Jamison Gibson-Park (49)
22. Jordan Larmour (18)
23. Adam Byrne (37)

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Author: Sean McMahon

Sean is Deputy Editor and head rugby writer. You can contact him by email [email protected] or on Twitter