10 total views, 1 views today
A depleted Munster side will begin their European journey in Coventry when they walk into the Wasps nest on Sunday.
Johann Van Graan’s team looks vastly different to what would have been expected of them before they got stuck in South Africa.
On top of this, it will be Munster’s first 80 minutes of competitive rugby since their defeat to Ospreys on October 23.
The Stags will face the Wasps, who have played four games since October ended but are yet to find a win.
Lee Blackett’s side only have three wins to their name after nine games but are seen as a bigger obstacle to overcome due to Munster’s situation.
Wasps reached the Gallagher Premiership final just two seasons ago, losing by only three points to Exeter Chiefs, who won a league and European double that year.
However, they have failed to reach the heights that they did in the time since then and their measly 23 carries per line break average this season does not exactly scream attacking intent.
Their defence has not been impressive either – in 2019-20, they conceded an average of 22.59 points per game in the regular season in the Premiership but this year, the number sits at 26.55 after just nine games, showing a decrease in performance.
However, 18 players are listed as unavailable for Wasps through injury this weekend, and one can expect them to improve when that number goes down but it appears this Munster side may play Wasps at a perfect time.
Munster, on the other hand, can be analysed for days but their team for Sunday’s 3:15 pm match is an unknown entity.
Five players have been handed their Munster debuts, including Ireland U20 number eight Daniel Okeke.
The team is a mix of youth, experience and players yet to get solid game time under their belts.
15 Marcus Watson (59)
14 Zach Kibirige (56)
13 Michael Le Bourgeois (65)
12 Jimmy Gopperth (136)
11 Josh Bassett (158)
10 Jacob Umaga (58)
9 Sam Wolstenholme (22)
1 Tom West (57)
2 Dan Frost (5)
3 Biyi Alo (22)
4 Sebastian de Chaves (5)
5 Elliott Stooke (9)
6 Alfie Barbeary (16)
7 Brad Shields (61) (c)
8 Tom Willis (49)
16 Gabriel Oghre (53)
17 Robin Hislop (9)
18 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen (53)
19 Tim Cardall (37)
20 Nizaam Carr (63)
21 Thomas Young (147)
22 Will Porter (37)
23 Francois Hougaard (4)
(15-9, 1-8) Patrick Campbell; Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Damian de Allende, Keith Earls; Joey Carbery, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Scott Buckley, James French; Eoin O’Connor, Tadhg Beirne; Peter O’Mahony (C), John Hodnett, Daniel Okeke.
Replacements: Declan Moore, Mark Donnelly, Roman Salanoa, John Forde, Conor Moloney, Ethan Coughlan, Tony Butler, Jonathan Wren.
Where To Watch
The match will be available to watch on BT Sport 2 and beIN Sports with coverage starting at 3 pm.