RUGBY: Ulster and Munster name New Year's Day derby teams

Jean Deysel returns to the Ulster starting team after a two-month injury lay-off
Jean Deysel returns to the Ulster starting team after a two-month injury lay-off

Ulster forwards Jean Deysel, Rodney Ah You and Kyle McCall all return after injury for Monday's Guinness PRO14 game against Munster.

John Cooney, Craig Gilroy and Louis Ludik are the only players to retain starting roles from the 44-16 defeat by Connacht last Saturday.

Rob Herring captains Ulster after recovering from concussion while Christian Lealiifano also returns and starts at outhalf.

Munster coach Coach Johan van Graan makes 11 changes from the Boxing Day home defeat by Leinster with Sammy Arnold, Alex Wootton, Billy Holland and Tommy O'Donnell the retained players.

However, Simon Zebo and Keith Earls are drafted into the backs while the pack includes other Ireland internationals James Cronin, Niall Scannell and John Ryan, who form the front row.

Academy wing Calvin Nash will make his first start of the season while JJ Hanrahan and Duncan Williams form the half-back pairing.

Wing Ronan O'Mahony is included in his first match-day squad this season following the fractured fibula he sustained last April while Jeremy Loughman, who previously played for Leinster, is in line for his Munster debut after being named on the bench.

Alan O'Connor and Kieran Treadwell return to Ulster's second row after performing well together in the European wins over Harlequins earlier this month.

With Iain Henderson rested, Greg Jones and Nick Timoney join Deysel in the back row.

Charles Piutau replaces the rested Jacob Stockdale at full-back with Stuart McCloskey and Rob Lyttle drafted into the backline.


ULSTER: Piutau; Gilroy, Ludik, McCloskey, Lyttle; Lealiifano, Cooney; McCall, Herring (capt), Ah You; O'Connor, Treadwell; Jones, Timoney, Deysel.

Replacements: McBurney, Black, Herbst, Diack, Rea, P Marshall, McPhillips, Trimble.

MUNSTER: Zebo; Nash, Earls, Arnold, Wootton; Hanrahan, Williams; Cronin, N Scannell, Ryan; O'Shea, Holland (capt); O'Donnell, Cloete, O'Donoghue.

Replacements: O'Byrne, Loughman, Archer, Wycherley, Copeland, Hart, Johnston, R O'Mahony.