MUNSTER have maded eight changes to their team ahead of Saturday’s top-of-the-table RaboDirect PRO12 game against the Ospreys at Thomond Park.
Donncha O’Callaghan, who was released from the Ireland camp on Thursday, starts in the second row alongside youngster Dave Foley while another of the international contingent, James Coughlan, starts on the bench.
Ian Keatley returns to the number 10 jersey as last week’s man of the match JJ Hanrahan drops out. There is a whole new front row where BJ Botha and Dave Kilcoyne prop down either side of captain Damien Varley. The promising CJ Stander continues at Number 8 with Dave O’Callaghan and Sean Dougall alongside him in the back row.
Duncan Williams teams up with Keatley at half-back while Felix Jones comes in at full-back with Johne Murphy and Ronan O’Mahony on the wings. It will be O’Mahony’s first competitive start in Thomond Park. The only unchanged area of the side is in the centre where Casey Laulala and Ivan Dineen once again team up.
On the bench, hooker Duncan Casey is in line for his first appearance for the first team and he is joined by John Ryan, James Cronin, Billy Holland, James Coughlan, Cathal Sheridan, JJ Hanrahan and Cian Bohane.
The visitors have also made a number of changes from the side that hammered the Dragons last weekend. They have 13 players away on international duty but they will be looking to preserve their good record against Munster having won four and drawn one in their last five meetings. Indeed they are unbeaten in Thomond Park in their last two outings.
The game kicks off at 7.15pm and is live on TG4.
MUNSTER: Felix Jones; Johne Murphy, Casey Laulala, Ivan Dineen, Ronan O’Mahony; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; Dave Kilcoyne, Damien Varley Capt., BJ Botha; Donncha O’Callaghan, Dave Foley; Dave O’Callaghan, Sean Dougall, CJ Stander. Replacements: Duncan Casey, James Cronin, John Ryan, Billy Holland, James Coughlan, Cathal Sheridan, JJ Hanrahan, Cian Bohane.
OSPREYS: Richard Fussell; Aisea Natoga, Jonathan Spratt (Capt), Andrew Bishop, Ben John; Matthew Morgan, Tito Tebaldi; Marc Thomas, Scott Baldwin, Joe Rees; Lloyd Peers; James King; Joe Bearman, Sam Lewis, Morgan Allen. Replacements: Matthew Dwyer, Nicky Smith, Dan Suter, Rhodri Hughes, Arthur Ellis, Tom Habberfield, Sam Davies, Hanno Dirksen