SCRUM half Conor Murray is set to captain Munster in this Saturday evening’s Guinness PRO12 round four clash with table toppers Ospreys at Thomond Park, 6.30pm.
International loosehead prop Dave Kilcoyne makes his first start of the season with hooker Duncan Casey and tighthead BJ Botha remaining in situ in the front row.
Donncha O’Callaghan comes into the second row for Billy Holland who has played every minute of this season’s PRO12 to date, and Munster’s most capped player will be partnered by Paul O’Connell who makes his second consecutive league start.
Paddy Butler retains responsibility at 6, with Sean Dougall and CJ Stander returning to the starting line up at 7 and 8 respectively.
Out-half Ian Keatley is back to take partner captain Murray at half-back.
After impressing in the centre last time out against Zebre, Denis Hurley will again start at inside centre alongside Ivan Dineen who completes the midfield partnership.
Gerhard van den Heever has recovered from a knee injury to make his first appearance of the season on the left wing. The South African comes in for Simon Zebo, another who has played every minute of Munster’s league campaign so far.
Andrew Conway returns to the right wing with Johne Murphy starting at fullback for the first time in this season’s PRO12.
A strong performance on his senior debut last Friday sees year three Academy player Jack O’Donoghue included amongst the replacements once again this weekend.
Following this Saturday evening’s clash with Ospreys, Munster will face interprovincial rivals Leinster in a crunch early season PRO12 game on Saturday, October 4.
Tickets are available to buy online from the Munster Rugby website, from the Munster Rugby Ticket Offices in Thomond Park and Musgrave Park on Friday from 10am-4.30pm and on match-day from the mobile ticket unit at the East Stand on Saturday from 10am. The West Stand Ticket booth will open from 4.30pm on Saturday.
MUNSTER: Johne Murphy, Andrew Conway, Ivan Dineen, Denis Hurley, Gerhard van den Heever; Ian Keatley, Conor Murray (Capt); Dave Kilcoyne, Duncan Casey, BJ Botha; Donncha O’Callaghan, Paul O’Connell; Paddy Butler, Sean Dougall, CJ Stander. Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, James Cronin, Stephen Archer, Dave Foley, Jack O’Donoghue, Duncan Williams, JJ Hanrahan, Andrew Smith.