Munster’s team to play Leinster in the RaboDirect PRO12 on Saturday night has been named with Irish internationals Donncha O’Callaghan, Peter O’Mahony, Ronan O’Gara and Keith Earls all set to start.
David Wallace, who only returned from injury two weeks ago, drops out of the match-day 23 altogether as O’Mahony starts at openside and there is a first big start for Dave O’Callaghan at blindside. Billy Holland and Tommy O’Donnell provide back-row cover.
Denis Hurley is another surprising omission from the squad as Felix Jones is preferred at full-back, Johne Murphy is named on the wing and Danny Barnes is the utilty back replacement.
Ronan O’Gara will captain the team with Tomas O’Leary at scrum half and Keith Earls at outside centre where he will be in direct opposition to Brian O’Driscoll.
In the pack, Marcus Horan gets the nod ahead of Wian du Preez while Donncha O’Callaghan and Mick O’Driscoll pack down in the second row.
Meanwhile, Leinster have named a strong-looking side as they also welcome back their Irish contingent. Jamie Heaslip captains the team while Sean Cronin, Mike Ross, Eoin Reddan, Jonathan Sexton, Gordon D’Arcy and Rob Kearney also start. Cian Healy, Sean O’Brien and Fergus McFadden are included on the bench.
Notable starters include New Zealand’s world cup winner Brad Thorn in the second row and Luke Fitzgerald on the wing.
The game is live on RTE2 at 7.30pm. Munster are slight favourites at 4/5 with Leinster at evens and the draw at 20/1.
MUNSTER - Felix Jones; Johne Murphy, Keith Earls, Lifeimi Mafi, Simon Zebo; Ronan O’Gara capt, Tomas O’Leary; Marcus Horan, Damien Varley, BJ Botha; Donncha O’Callaghan, Mick O’Driscoll; Dave O’Callaghan, Peter O’Mahony, James Coughlan. Replacements: Mike Sherry, Wian du Preez, Stephen Archer; Billy Holland, Tommy O’Donnell, Duncan Williams, Ian Keatley, Danny Barnes.
LEINSTER - Rob Kearney; Isa Nacewa, Brian O’Driscoll, Gordon D’Arcy, Luke Fitzgerald; Jonathan Sexton, Eoin Reddan; Heinke van der Merwe, Sean Cronin, Mike Ross; Brad Thorn, Devin Toner; Kevin McLaughlin, Shane Jennings, Jamie Heaslip. Replacements: Richardt Strauss, Cian Healy, Jamie Hagan, Leo Cullen, Sean O’Brien, Isaac Boss, Ian Madigan, Fergus McFadden