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Meet The Five Academy Debutants Who'll Start For Munster Against Wasps

Meet The Five Academy Debutants Who'll Start For Munster Against Wasps
By Jonathan Browne Updated

Up to 12 players could make their senior debut for Munster on Sunday as Covid-19 has heavily impacted team selection ahead of the match against Wasps. 33 players who travelled to South Africa last week remain in isolation, with 14 having tested positive while in South Africa.

However Munster are still able to field a quality side for Sunday due to their Ireland players and Damian de Allende not travelling to South Africa after the international break. Joey Carbery, Conor Murray, Keith Earls, Tadhg Beirne, Peter O'Mahony, David Kilcoyne and Andrew Conway all start. Chris Farrell also starts and is set to play his first match of the season.

There are however five debutants in the starting XV: forwards Scott Buckley, James French, Eoin O'Connor, Daniel Okeke and fullback Patrick Campbell.

Meet the Munster Academy 5 ahead of the big game against Wasps.

Scott Buckley

Buckley starts at hooker and is a product of Kinsale RFC and captained CBC Cork to the Munster Senior Cup in 2019. He has represented Ireland at U18 and U19 level.

18 December 2020; Scott Buckley of Munster during the A Interprovincial Friendly match between Munster A and Leinster A at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

James French

French is starting at tighthead prop and the Bandon-native moved up to the senior squad over the summer after three years in the academy. He's played for Ireland at U19 and U20 level. The talented youngman is also an All-Ireland schoolboy shot put champion from his time at Bandon Grammar.

8 April 2019; James French during Munster Rugby Squad Training at the University of Limerick in Limerick. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Eoin O'Connor

O'Connor is a 6 foot 7 lock who hails from Waterford. He was named in the Ireland U20 squad in 2020 and has played with Young Munster in the AIL this season.

8 September 2018; Eoin O’Connor of Munster during the U19 Interprovincial Championship match between Leinster and Munster at Energia Park in Dublin. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Daniel Okeke

Okeke has be a name people may have heard before. The Limerick man went somewhat viral a few years back for a try he scored in the Munster Senior Cup for Ardscoil Rís. He has since gone on to play for Ireland U20 last summer and scored a try against Wales. There's hype around the number 8 so keep an eye out for him.

Patrick Campbell

24 September 2021; Patrick Campbell of Munster during the Development Interprovincial match between Leinster XV and Munster XV at the IRFU High Performance Centre at the Sport Ireland Campus in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Lastly out of the debutants is the fullback Campbell. He only joined the Munster academy last month and will now get a chance to show his quality in Europe's premier competition. He attended PBC where he played in the 2019 Munster Senior Cup final alongside fellow academy member Alex Kendellen.

This match also is a chance to see what John Hodnett can bring at the top level. The back rower starred for Ireland U2os when they won the Grand Slam in the 2019 Six Nations. However this is his first start in 13 months after having an achilles injury last year followed up by a minor ankle injury that has kept him out so far this season.

There is a chance for a further seven debuts for Munster as Declan Moore, Mark Donnelly, John Forde, Conor Moloney, Ethan Coughlan, Tony Butler and Jonathan Wren all start on the bench.

Munster Starting XV to face Wasps

  1. Dave Kilcoyne
  2. Scott Buckley
  3. James French
  4. Eoin O'Connor
  5. Tadhg Beirne
  6. Peter O'Mahony (C)
  7. John Hodnett
  8. Daniel Okeke
  9. Conor Murray
  10. Joey Carbery
  11. Keith Earls
  12. Damian de Allende
  13. Chris Farrell
  14. Andrew Conway
  15. Patrick Campbell

Substitutes: Declan Moore, Mark Donnelly, Roman Salanoa, John Forde, Conor Moloney, Ethan Coughlan, Tony Butler, Jonathan Wren.

See Also: Luke Fitzgerald: "Leinster Are Better Than All The Teams" In The Champions Cup

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