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Munster vs Sharks 2023 URC Round 1 Predictions, Odds, Picks and Betting Preview
- Munster won the United Rugby Championship last season, beating the Stormers in the final
- The Sharks lost to top seed Leinster in the quarter-finals last season
- Munster are favourites to record the win over the Sharks in their league opener
The United Rugby Championship is back!
The URC returns this Saturday, with Munster taking on the Sharks in one of the opening fixtures of the 2023-24 season.
Read on as Sports Brief brings you a preview of this Round 1 clash.
Munster vs. Sharks Betting Preview
Where: Thomond Park, Ireland
When: Saturday, October 21 - 5:15 pm local time
Betting on Munster (-12.5)
Munster will open their title defence with a showdown against the Sharks on Saturday.
The defending champions have lost just once in their last 11 matches in the Championship. They went on a dream run in the playoffs last season, beating Glasgow, Leinster, and the Stormers to win the URC title.
Andrew Conway didn't feature in that title run after he suffered a knee injury last year. He is fully fit again and will be making his 150th appearance for Munster after being named in the starting lineup.
Josh Wycherley will make his 50th appearance for Munster in the front row. New signing, Alex Nankivell arrived from New Zealand last weekend and is among the replacements.
Joining Wycherley in the front row are Diarmuid Barron and Stephen Archer, with Fineen Wycherley and Edwin Edogbo manning the engine room.
Shane Daly starts at full-back, with Calvin Nash and Conway on either wing. Antoine Frisch and Rory Scannell form the midfield partnership, with Joey Carbery and Ethan Coughlan as half-backs.
Coughlan will be making his first start for the province and is one of five Academy players included in Munster's league opener.
Munster captain Jack O’Donoghue, Gavin Coombes, and Alex Kendellen complete the Irish club's side.
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Betting on the Sharks (+12.5)
John Plumtree is back as the Sharks' head coach, and he has named an experienced lineup for their opening match against Munster.
Tour captain Francois Venter will lead the side in the blockbuster clash, with veteran tighthead prop Coenie Oosthuizen set to make his first start for the Sharks since 2019.
He returned to Durban after a four-year stint with Sale in the Premiership.
Joining him in the back row are James Venter and Phepsi Buthelezi, who will make his 50th appearance for the Sharks in an international competition.
Curwin Bosch will get the start at fly-half. He will team up with Cameron Wright in a half-back combination.
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2023/24 URC Betting Preview
Sports Brief also previewed the 2023-24 season of the United Rugby Championship.
Bookmakers have installed Leinster as the favourites to win the Grand Final next year.
They finished first in the regular season last campaign but lost to Munster 16-15 in the semi-finals.
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