Saturday 28 September, 3.00pm, Thomond Park, Limerick
Live on eir Sport, Premier Sports, TG4 and DAZN
Dragons head to Limerick in the opening round of the Guinness PRO14 to take on a Munster team that have not been beaten at home in any tournament since Leinster were victorious on St Stephen's Day 2017.
Munster were defeated by the same opposition and eventual champions, Leinster, in last year's PRO14 semi-final.
Munster's New Signings
Nick McCarthy (Leinster), Gavin Coombes, Shane Daly, Seán O’Connor, Craig Casey (Academy), Jed Holloway (Waratahs - two-month contract)
Munster Team News
Billy Holland captains the hosts in his 13th season as a senior player, while Nick McCarthy makes his competitive debut at scrum-half and will be hoping to make his mark whilst Connor Murray is with Ireland at the Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Munster XV: Mike Haley; Darren Sweetnam, Rory Scannell, Tyler Bleyendaal, Shane Daly; JJ Hanrahan, Nick McCarthy; Jeremy Loughman, Kevin O’Byrne, Stephen Archer; Fineen Wycherley, Billy Holland (C); Jack O’Donoghue, Tommy O’Donnell, Arno Botha
Replacements: Diarmuid Barron, James Cronin, Keynan Knox, Darren O’Shea, Chris Cloete, Alby Mathewson, Liam Coombes, Jack O’Sullivan
Three To Watch
Centre Scannell was included in the Ireland side for the 2017 Summer Tour to the USA and Japan, making his debut against the USA in New Jersey where he kicked four points. Made his first international start a week later against Japan, playing all three Tests.
Signed a two-year contract extension with Munster in December 2018, committing to the province until at least June 2021, and became the youngest player to reach 100 Munster appearances at the age of just 25 when starting the March 2019 clash away to Scarlets.
A former New Zealand U20s player, Christchurch-born Tyler Bleyendaal has impressed ever since linking up with Munster in January 2015. The former Crusaders man really made his mark in the 2016/17 season and was instrumental in Munster making the Champions Cup and PRO14 semi-finals.
Bleyendaal – who signed a two-year contract extension in February that will see him remain with the province until June 2021 – has amassed 343 points in 55 games for Munster.
Billy Holland (capt)
An academy graduate, Bill Holland made his competitive debut for Munster in September 2007 and was promoted to a full contract in summer 2009.
Holland featured in Emerging Ireland’s 2014 Nations Cup winning campaign and won the 2015 Tblisi Cup in Georgia before a senior call-up for Ireland in November 2016, against Canada at the Aviva Stadium.
Holland became just the tenth player to play 200 games for Munster against Connacht in January 2019 and trained with Ireland during the 2019 6 Nations Championship.