Rugby Union

Munster aim to end losing streak against Southern Kings in Cork

Munster Coach Johann van Graan .
Andy Watters

Pro 14 Conference B: Munster v Southern Kings at Irish Independent Park, 7.35pm)

MUNSTER should end a two-game losing streak when they host bottom-of-the-table Southern Kings in Cork tonight.

Johann van Graan's side have lost their last two games against Ulster (38-17) and Leinster (13-6) but remain in touching distance of top spot; a point behind Scarlets and points behind Conference leaders Edinburgh.

Munster, who have won all three previous meetings between these sides, have been boosted by the return of international pair Chris Farrell and Jack O'Donoghue from the Ireland camp and head coach van Graan has awarded highly-rated back-row forward John Hodnett - part of Ireland's U20 Grand Slam-winning side last year and is highly tipped to be a future success - his first Guinness PRO14 appearance.

Billy Holland captains Munster once again on his 226th appearance and the province's top scorer JJ Hanrahan also starts as he tries to build on the 67 points he has registered so far this season.

Meanwhile, Southern Kings sit bottom of the Conference B table with just one win from their opening 10 fixtures. The South Africa outfit arrived in Cork on Tuesday and will be seeking an upset.

Edmund Ludick (21) makes his Kings debut on the wing, replacing the injured Yaw Penxe, while Erich Cronje, who has scored three tries this season, has moved to inside centre after two matches at wing, whilst Christopher Hollis returns to the starting XV at right wing. Luvolo Dapula will make his first appearance providing loose-forward cover from the bench.

Munster: M Haley, C Nash, C Farrell, D Goggin, S Daly, JJ Hanrahan, N Cronin; J Cronin, N Scannell, J Ryan, F Wycherley, B Holland, J O'Donoghue, J Hodnett, A Botha

Replacements: K O'Byrne, J Loughman, K Knox, G Coombes, C Cloete, N McCarthy, B Healy, R Scannell

Isuzu Southern Kings: A Loubser, C Hollis, S Sithole, E Cronje, E Ludick, D Catrakilis, S Ungerer; S Ferreira, J du Toit, R de Klerk, J Sexton, JC Astle, L Badiyana, B de Wee, R Lerm

Replacements: A van Rooyen, X Vos, I Prinsloo, A Fortuin, T Bholi, L Dapula, J Allderman, C Winnaar

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Rugby Union