2018 Starts With Must Win Munster Meeting
Nottingham Rugby kick-off their 2018 on Friday evening, with a mouth-watering home, cup clash, under the Friday night lights, against the current British & Irish Cup holders Munster ‘A’ (7:45pm kick-off).
Green and Whites Head Coach Ian Costello, who coached the Irish provincial side to cup glory, back in 2012, has named a strong side, as the Green and Whites look to keep their chances of quarter final qualification alive.
Five changes have been made to the starting XV, who were narrowly defeated by London Scottish on 29th December.
In the pack, Seko Sio is brought in loosehead prop, with lock Tim Cardall also making a return to the line-up.
A total of five ex-Munster players will face their former team, as Shane Buckley and Jordan Coghlan are both given the nod to start in the back row.
They will feature alongside their fellow countrymen Rory Burke, Gearoid Lyons and Sean Scanlon.
Just one change is made in the backline, with Will Millett replacing Charlie Thacker, at outside centre.
On the bench, youngsters Jamie Jack and Seb Cecil could be given the chance to show what they can do, whilst Tongan international Vili Hakalo is also added.
An entertaining and free flowing match is expected, with both teams knowing that realistically, only a bonus-point win will suffice on the night, with the Green and Whites currently third in Pool 1, with one win from three games, and Munster sitting in second place, after four games, two points behind leaders Bedford Blues.
Nottingham are still hunting for their first victory over Munster, after being defeated on seven previous occasions in the competition, between 2010 and 2017.
The closest the Green and Whites have come to a win against the provincial giants, were narrow 15-14 and 17-16 home losses, in January 2011 and October 2013 respectively.
In the last meeting between the sides, on a windy night in Cork, back in October, Oli Evans’ converted try on the brink of half time saw Nottingham trail narrowly at the break, with the scores at 10-7, but the home side went on to seal a convincing 38-7 bonus point win, as they crossed the line for five more converted tries in the second half.
Team to face Munster A:
15) Sean Scanlon
14) Billy Robinson
13) Will Millett
12) Gearoid Lyons
11) Joe Cobden
10) Tiff Eden
9) Murray McConnell
1) Aniseko Sio
2) Jimmy Stevens
3) Rory Burke
4) Tim Cardall
5) Ben Morris (C)
6) Shane Buckley
7) Jordan Coghlan
8) Josh Poullet
16) Ben Brownlie
17) Jamie Jack
18) Ben Hooper
19) Seb Cecil
20) Matt Everard
21) Darryl Veenendaal
22) Vili Hakalo
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TABLE FOR TWO