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Munster shake it up in bid for double

By John Fallon

Director of rugby Rassie Erasmus says the Munster players must bounce back with a win over Cardiff Blues this evening but he will continue to experiment before the business end of the season.

Erasmus makes five changes to his side for the game at Cardiff Arms Park after Munster fell to their first defeat since December at home to Scarlets last weekend.

Munster held a 21-6 lead at half-time against Scarlets but slipped up at Thomond Park and surrendered their leadership at the top of the Pro12 table.

But Erasmus feels that he did the right thing in going with a youthful line-up against Scarlets, and Ireland U20 youngster Fineen Wycherley is on the bench this evening and looks set to make his debut in Cardiff.

"Cardiff were the last team to beat us at home before the weekend and the way to turn that around is to win," said Erasmus.

"We don't have a lot of opportunities to try out things. We are trying to stay in that top four and trying to get a semi-final if possible. But we are also in the European quarter-finals.

"And if we don't try things now, it won't be in the last three or four games or in the European games where we will try things.

"We have to give it a go now and sometimes you will find out the hard way."

But Erasmus has added more experience and there are two changes in the pack where Billy Holland captains the side from the second-row. Darren O'Shea comes in to partner him instead of Dave Foley who is ill, while Robin Copeland returns from a thumb injury.

Ian Keatley starts at out-half. Rory Scannell begins at inside-centre while Andrew Conway comes in at full-back.

Belfast Telegraph

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