Always highly regarded, the 23-year-old produced a superb performance when Munster 'A' defeated a much-vaunted Leinster 'A' side in the British & Irish Cup semi final a fortnight ago.
Tony McGahan's one back-line change is at scrum half where Conor Murray comes in for the London Irish-bound Tomas O'Leary.
Up front, the return of soon to be Freeman of Limerick Paul O'Connell sees his long-time second row partner Donncha O'Callaghan drop to the replacements bench.
This time the nod to join O'Connell at lock has gone to Mick O'Driscoll, who announced this week that he is to retire from rugby at the end of the current season.
The back row remains the same with influential South African BJ Botha coming back into the front row ahead of Stephen Archer.
MUNSTER (v Scarlets): Felix Jones; Luke O'Dea, Johne Murphy, Lifeimi Mafi, Simon Zebo; Ian Keatley, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Mike Sherry, BJ Botha, Mick O'Driscoll, Paul O'Connell (capt), Donnacha Ryan, Tommy O'Donnell, Peter O'Mahony.
Replacements: Damien Varley, Wian du Preez, Stephen Archer, Donncha O'Callaghan, Paddy Butler, Tomas O'Leary, Scott Deasy, Ivan Dineen.