HOOKER Kevin O’Byrne, number eight Shane Buckley and centre Andrew Smith will make their competitive debuts for Munster in this Friday night’s Guinness PRO12 opening round tie with Edinburgh at Thomond Park, 7.35pm.
UL-Bohs hooker Kevin O’Byrne starts in the front row with Duncan Casey selected on the bench. Garryowen’s Shane Buckley is named at number eight alongside CJ Stander and Tommy O’Donnell.
Aussie Andrew Smith, who joined from the Brumbies in recent weeks, will partner Johne Murphy in the Munster midfield.
Ireland’s Simon Zebo makes a return to provincial action and he is joined by Emerging Ireland duo Andrew Conway and Ian Keatley in the starting line-up, while their touring colleagues Dave Foley and Tommy O’Donnell are named in the replacements.
Foley has made six changes to the side that lined out against London Irish in Waterford last week with BJ Botha returning to the front row.
Ronan O’Mahony retain his place in the backline but moves to fullback for the visit of the Scottish side.
After picking up a knee injury against London Irish last Friday night, Cian Bohane underwent a scan during the week and has been ruled out of action for the immediate future. Bohane will now meet with the specialist for further assessment.
The Munster side, for Anthony Foley’s first competitive fixture as head coach, will be captained by Donncha O’Callaghan. The game is live on TG4 from 7.30pm.
MUNSTER - Ronan O’Mahony; Andrew Conway, Johne Murphy, Andrew Smith, Simon Zebo; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; John Ryan, Kevin O’Byrne, BJ Botha; Donncha O’Callaghan (Capt), Billy Holland, CJ Stander, Sean Dougall, Shane Buckley. Replacements: Duncan Casey, Alan Cotter, Stephen Archer, Dave Foley, Tommy O’Donnell, Cathal Sheridan, Johnny Holland, Ivan Dineen.