MUNSTER have made two changes to their starting line-up for Saturday’s Heineken Cup opener against Edinburgh at Murrayfield (1.35pm) with Conor Murray and Paddy Butler named in the team by head coach Rob Penney.
Murray, who returned from a toe injury against Leinster last weekend, is named at scrum-half in place of Duncan Williams. In the back-row, Paddy Butler replaces team captain Peter O’Mahony, who was an injury doubt after receiving a head injury in last Saturday’s RaboDirect PRO12 clash with Leinster.
O’Mahony has been integrated back into training with Munster this week having been replaced at half-time against Leinster. Munster say all protocol re return to play has been followed and O’Mahony ‘has progressed normally in this regard’.
Munster added on their website “However, due to the heavy schedule in the upcoming weeks, including Rabo, Heineken and possible international involvement, a decision to omit Peter from this weekend’s opening round Heineken Cup game against Edinburgh has been made.’
Former skipper Paul O’Connell will captain the side in O’Mahony’s absence.
Paddy Butler will be making his first Heineken Cup start this Saturday, as he joins Niall Ronan and James Coughlan in the back-row.
Stephen Archer again starts at tighthead prop, despite the return to full fitness of experienced South African prop, BJ Botha.
Munster: Felix Jones; Keith Earls, Casey Laulala, James Downey, Simon Zebo; Ian Keatley, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Mike Sherry, Stephen Archer; Donncha Ryan, Paul O’Connell Capt.; Paddy Butler, Niall Ronan, James Coughlan. Replacements: Damien Varley, James Cronin, BJ Botha, Donncha O’Callaghan, CJ Stander, Duncan Williams, JJ Hanrahan, Denis Hurley.