Munster wheel out big guns for visit of Zebre

Colm Kinsella

Reporter:

Colm Kinsella

Conor Murray and Paul O'Connell has been included in the Munster side to face Zebre in the Guinness PRO12 at Thomond Park this Friday night, 7.30pm
MUNSTER head coach Anthony Foley has named Paul O’Connell, Conor Murray, Dave Kilcoyne, JJ Hanrahan, Paddy Butler and Denis Hurley in his starting XV to face Zebre in the Guinness PRO12 at Thomond Park this Friday, 7.30pm.

MUNSTER head coach Anthony Foley has named Paul O’Connell, Conor Murray, Dave Kilcoyne, JJ Hanrahan, Paddy Butler and Denis Hurley in his starting XV to face Zebre in the Guinness PRO12 at Thomond Park this Friday, 7.30pm.

Development contract player Johnny Holland will make his first competitive senior start for the province at out-half.

Head coach Foley has made seven changes to the side that defeated Treviso in Italy last weekend, with Felix Jones retaining the captain’s armband for a second consecutive game.

BJ Botha comes into the front row at tighthead with James Cronin and hooker Duncan Casey retaining their starting places.

Billy Holland lines out once again in the second row and is partnered by the returning Irish captain Paul O’Connell.

In the back row, Paddy Butler makes his first appearance of the season at 6, with openside flanker Tommy O’Donnell and number 8 Robin Copeland remaining in situ from last weekend.

Conor Murray also returns at scrum half and is joined by Holland in the half backs. A product of the Greencore Munster Academy, Holland began a Senior Development Contract at the start of this season. Denis Hurley opens his account for Munster this season at inside centre, partnering Andrew Smith who takes charge of the outside channel.

Following two 80 minute performances in the opening two rounds of the PRO12, Andrew Conway’s place on the right wing goes to Ronan O’Mahony this week. Simon Zebo retains responsibility for the left wing, as does captain Felix Jones at full back.

Summer tourist with Ireland in Argentina, Dave Kilcoyne, and Emerging Ireland representative at the 2014 Nations Cup, JJ Hanrahan, will hope begin their competitive seasons on tomorrow night as both are named amongst the replacements.

MUNSTER: Felix Jones (Capt), Ronan O’Mahony, Andrew Smith, Denis Hurley, Simon Zebo; Johnny Holland, Conor Murray; James Cronin, Duncan Casey, BJ Botha; Billy Holland, Paul O’Connell; Paddy Butler, Tommy O’Donnell, Robin Copeland. Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, Dave Kilcoyne, John Ryan, Donncha O’Callaghan, Sean Dougall, Duncan Williams, JJ Hanrahan, Johne Murphy