Belfast Telegraph

BJ Botha setback will hurt Munster's bid for revenge

The absence of Munster ace BJ Botha, who suffered a concussion in last Saturday's loss to Leicester at Thomond Park, could dramatically shift the balance of power in the Tigers' favour tomorrow evening.

The loss of the former Ulster star pits Munster's third-choice tighthead prop John Ryan against arguably the best loosehead in the world in Leicester's Marcos Ayerza and unless the 27-year-old Corkman steps up, his team will be in trouble.

The scrum will be a key battleground as these two European heavyweights of old go head to head for the second time in eight days and, if the English side sniff blood, they can cause all sorts of damage in the set-piece.

Replacing Botha (pictured) with Ryan, bringing Mark Chisholm into the second-row for Dave Foley and replacing Niall Scannell with Mike Sherry are the three changes for the visitors, while Leicester bring Peter Betham and Freddie Burns into their backline but leave their forward pack unchanged.

It is up to Munster to smash them back and not allow them get on the front-foot and release their speed out wide.

Sherry said: "There were a few system errors, there were a few one-on-one tackles that should have been finished off. Just put your head in a place and finish off the tackle.

"Get the systems right, we go through it enough during the week, we know our roles well enough. When it comes to the heat of the battle it might be harder, but if they don't get it right, they won't get a chance. Lads have to prove themselves."

Belfast Telegraph

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