Sky Live: Castres v Munster
Last Updated: 13/10/17 9:27pm
Munster's CJ Stander has called on his team-mates to deliver a performance full of physicality ahead of their Champions Cup opener against Castres live on Sky Sports Action.
Last season's semi-finalists have rung the changes following their PRO14 defeat to Leinster last weekend and ahead of what will be the most played fixture in the history of top-level European competition.
The visitors have drafted in Simon Zebo at full-back for JJ Hanrahan, Darren Sweetnam for Andrew Conway on the wing with Rory Scannell returning to partner Chris Farrell in midfield. Tyler Bleyendaal reverts from centre to out-half at the expense of Ian Keatley.
In the pack, Saracens lock Mark Flanagan makes his first Munster start since joining on loan last month.
Castres enter the contest - their 13th meeting with Munster in Europe's premier competition - having lost four of their last five games in the French Top14.
For them, Uruguayan second-row Rodrigo Capo Ortega returns to captain the side with Yannick Caballero and Steve Mafi also coming into the back-row to partner Maama Vaipulu.
Winger Taylor Paris and centre Afusipa Taumoepeau have also been restored to the backline.
"They've got a big pack, a powerful pack, and the same again with their backline," said Stander. "We know that they like to get their forwards into the game early and it's going to be a tough, grinding 80 minutes for us.
"We're going to have to work this week on our discipline again and make sure that we train well and rest up for the physical battle on Sunday.
"There's no excuse now. We're going into Europe and we're going to pick the best team we have and those players will know what's going to be on their shoulders at the weekend.
"They will have to bring the intensity for a big match because if we can't bring the physicality it's going to be a long Sunday evening."
Castres Olympique: 15 Julien Dumora; 14 Taylor Paris, 13 Afusipa Taumoepeau, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 David Smith; 10 Benjamin Urdapilleta, 9 Rory Kockott; 1 Antoine Tichit, 2 Jody Jenneker, 3 Daniel Kotze, 4 Loic Jacquet,5 Rodrigo Capo Ortega (c), 6 Yannick Caballero, 7 Steve Mafi, 8 Maama Vaipulu
Replacements: 16 Marc-Antoine Rallier, 17 Mihaita Lazar, 18 Damien Tussac,19 Christophe Samson, 20 Anthony Jelonch,21 Ludovic Radosavljevic , 22 Florian Vialelle, 23 Armand Batlle
Munster Rugby: 15 Simon Zebo; 14 Darren Sweetnam, 13 Chris Farrell, 12 Rory Scannell, 11 Keith Earls; 10 Tyler Bleyendaal, 9 Conor Murray; 1 Dave Kilcoyne, 2 Niall Scannell, 3 Stephen Archer, 4 Mark Flanagan,5 Billy Holland, 6 Peter O'Mahony (c), 7 Tommy O'Donnell, 8 CJ Stander
Replacements: 16 Rhys Marshall, 17 Liam O'Connor, 18 John Ryan, 19 Robin Copeland, 20 Jack O'Donoghue,21 Duncan Williams, 22 Ian Keatley, 23 Andrew Conway