CJ Stander returns to starting XV to captain Munster

Anthony Foley's side face Leinster in Dublin on Saturday

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Munster’s CJ Stander scores a try Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Anthony Foley has made five changes from the side that defeated Zebre for Saturday evening's Pro12 clash away to Leinster at the Aviva Stadium.

CJ Stander resumes the role of captain for the first time since returning from international duty. The return of James Cronin and Stander are the only two changes to the pack.

Cronin will start alongside Niall Scannell and Stephen Archer in the front row with captain Stander coming in to join Dave O'Callaghan and Tommy O'Donnell in the back row. Donnacha Ryan and Billy Holland remain in situ in the second row.

Three changes across the backline see Conor Murray, Francis Saili and Andrew Conway all return to the starting XV. Murray partners Johnny Holland in the half-backs with Saili overcoming a bang to the shoulder sustained in training last week to resume his midfield partnership with Rory Scannell.

Consequently Keith Earls makes a positional switch to the wing and joins Conway and full-back Simon Zebo in the back-three. Zebo is drawing ever closer to the 100 cap milestone for the province and will make his 99th appearance this weekend.

Munster team and replacements to face Leinster:

(15-9): Simon Zebo, Andrew Conway, Francis Saili, Rory Scannell, Keith Earls, Johnny Holland, Conor Murray.

(1-8): James Cronin, Niall Scannell, Stephen Archer, Donnacha Ryan, Billy Holland, Dave O'Callaghan, Tommy O'Donnell, CJ Stander (capt).

Replacements (16-23): Mike Sherry, Dave Kilcoyne, John Ryan, Robin Copeland, Jack O'Donoghue, Tomás O'Leary, Ian Keatley, Darren Sweetnam.