MUNSTER head coach Anthony Foley has made eight changes in personnel from the side which lost to Glasgow for the sell-out St Stephen’s Day Guinness PRO12 clash with fierce rivals Leinster at Thomond Park, 5pm.
Irish internationals Paul O’Connell, Peter O’Mahony, Conor Murray ad Simon Zebo are not available for selection for the marquee fixture through the national player management programme.
The returning trio of Duncan Casey, CJ Stander and Tommy O’Donnell all start this week in the pack, with Casey joining John Ryan and Stephen Archer in the front row.
Munster’s most capped player Donncha O’Callaghan partners Billy Holland in the second row, while in the back row Robin Copeland retains his place at number with Stander and O’Donnell coming in at blindside and openside flanker.
Duncan Williams and Ian Keatley renew their half-back pairing as Denis Hurley, Pat Howard and Andrew Conway remain in the side. Garryowen’s Ronan O’Mahony comes in on the wing, and Felix Jones is named at fullback from where he will captain the side for the third time.
In the replacements, Garryowen scrum-half Neil Cronin is included in second PRO12 match-day squad and is in line to make his debut if sprung from the bench.
Munster confirmed this week that all tickets for the game have now been sold. The fixture will be televised live by TG4.
Meanwhile, Leinster, who will be captained by Shane Jennings, have made six changes in personnel from the side which defeated Connacht on Friday night for their trip to Limerick.
MUNSTER: Felix Jones (Capt); Andrew Conway, Pat Howard, Denis Hurley, Ronan O’Mahony; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; John Ryan, Duncan Casey, Stephen Archer; Donncha O’Callaghan, Billy Holland, CJ Stander, Tommy O’Donnell, Robin Copeland. Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, Eusebio Guinazu, BJ Botha, Dave O’Callaghan, Paddy Butler, Neil Cronin, JJ Hanrahan, Johne Murphy.
LEINSTER: Zane Kirchner, Darragh Fanning, Luke Fitzgerald, Gordon D’Arcy, Dave Kearney, Ian Madigan, Isaac Boss; Michael Bent, Richardt Strauss, Tadhg Furlong; Mike McCarthy, Kane Douglas; Dominic Ryan, Shane Jennings (Capt), Jack Conan. Replacements: Aaron Dundon, Maks Van Dyk, Jamie Hagan, Tom Denton, Jordi Murphy, Luke McGrath, Jimmy Gopperth, Noel Reid.