MUNSTER head coach Anthony Foley has made seven changes from the side which defeated Cardiff last time out for this Friday night’s Guinness PRO12 clash with the Dragons at Rodney Parade, 7.30pm.
Foley also makes two positional switches for the trip to Wales, with one notable move seeing JJ Hanrahan start at full-back.
In the replacements, South African centre Pat Howard, who recently joined Munster on a three-month deal, is in line to make his Munster debut while Dave O’Callaghan is named in his first match-day 23 since February after successfully rehabbing a knee injury.
With two changes to the front five, Argentine hooker Eusebio Guinazu makes his first start for the province while Stephen Archer takes the place of BJ Botha at tight-head.
Fresh from making his Ireland debut against Georgia on Sunday, returning international Robin Copeland is named at 8, while Paddy Butler moves to blindside with Sean Dougall starting at openside.
After making his third appearance for Ireland last weekend, Ian Keatley is also released back to the province and he starts at 10 with Cathal Sheridan joining him in the half-backs.
Denis Hurley renews his centre partnership with Andrew Smith; Ronan O’Mahony and Andrew Conway are named out wide, while Hanrahan wears the number 15 jersey for the first time.
On the injury front, Barry O’Mahony, who was stretchered off from training on Monday afternoon, underwent surgery on his right ankle in Dublin yesterday and he has been ruled out for the immediate future.
Friday night’s clash with the Dragons is not being televised live, but Munster Rugby will provide twitter updates.
MUNSTER: JJ Hanrahan; Andrew Conway, Andrew Smith, Denis Hurley, Ronan O’Mahony; Ian Keatley, Cathal Sheridan; John Ryan, Eusebio Guinazu, Stephen Archer; Donncha O’Callaghan (Capt), Billy Holland; Paddy Butler, Sean Dougall, Robin Copeland. Replacements: Duncan Casey, Alan Cotter, BJ Botha, Dave O’Callaghan, CJ Stander, Duncan Williams, Pat Howard, Johne Murphy.
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