23 May, 12:21
The Irish Rugby Supporters Club is delighted to announce that tickets for the GUINNESS Series 2013 will go on sale on ticketmaster.ie at 10am on Thursday, May 30.
Munster have won only twice in their six league encounters with the Scarlets, so victory on Sunday, with their league position of tenth in mind, would be extremely encouraging.
MAGNERS LEAGUE: Sunday, November 5
LLANELLI SCARLETS v MUNSTER, Stradey Park, 5.30pm (live Setanta Sports)
Team News: Former Ospreys back row James Bater will captain Llanelli on Sunday in the absence of Ireland's Simon Easterby and Welsh duo Dwayne Peel and Stephen Jones.
For the visit of Munster, Scarlets boss Phil Davies has made nine changes - one being a positional switch - to the side that defeated Ulster 21-15 in the Heineken Cup last weekend.
The alterations in the backs see winger Darren Daniel and centre Matthew Watkins thrust back into the fray, while the region's half-backs will be Ceiron Thomas and Clive Stuart-Smith.
Matthew Rees, who has been called up for Wales, is replaced by Aled Gravelle at hooker while Adam Jones comes into the second row, taking Inoke Afeaki's place with the big Tongan moving to the back row to join Bater and number 8 Nathan Thomas.
Ireland international Mick O'Driscoll, who was on the summer tour to New Zealand and Australia, will add another string to his bow by captaining Munster against Llanelli.
The former Perpignan lock has been handed the armband in the absence of Paul O'Connell, Ronan O'Gara and the injured Anthony Foley.
Sunday will be a big day for Lifeimi Mafi, the New Zealand import, who will make his first start for Munster in the Magners League clash. The 24-year-old is to partner Barry Murphy in an exciting looking midfield combination.
Mafi replaces Trevor Halstead who has been named on the bench alongside AIB League regulars Sean Cronin and Donnacha Ryan (both Shannon), Timmy Ryan (Cork Constitution), James Coughlan (Dolphin) and Gerry Hurley and Eoghan Hickey (both Garryowen).
With his international players absent, Munster coach Declan Kidney has been forced to make ten changes to the side that last lined out in the league for Munster - in the 21-10 defeat to Edinburgh on October 13.
Llanelli: Barry Davies; Dafydd James, Regan King, Matthew Watkins, Darren Daniel; Ceiron Thomas, Clive Stuart-Smith; Iestyn Thomas, Aled Gravelle, Deacon Manu, Vernon Cooper, Adam Jones, Inoke Afeaki, James Bater (capt), Nathan Thomas.
Replacements: Phil John, Ken Owens, Lou Reed, Jon Mills, Lee Williams, Morgan Stoddart, Gavin Evans.
Munster: Shaun Payne; John Kelly, Barry Murphy, Lifeimi Mafi, Ian Dowling; Jeremy Manning, Tomas O'Leary; Darragh Hurley, Andy Kyriacou, Federico Pucciariello, Chris Wyatt, Mick O'Driscoll (capt), John O'Sullivan, Tim McGann, Alan Quinlan.
Replacements: Sean Cronin, Timmy Ryan, Donnacha Ryan, James Coughlan, Gerry Hurley, Eoghan Hickey, Trevor Halstead.
Referee: Kelvin Deaker (New Zealand)
Player Speak: James Bater (Llanelli) - "I am delighted to be captaining the Scarlets. It's a huge honour to lead the team for what is going to be a big challenge.
"Munster are coming here as European champions and we are expecting nothing other than a confidence side on the back of their two big wins in the Heineken Cup.
"(At Llanelli) there have been a rotation system going on this season and everyone has played two or three games each. It should be pretty easy for players to come in because there is not much new to learn."
Barry Murphy (Munster) - "As a backline we're getting more confident. You saw it in the Bourgoin game, we're improving and we had a lot to iron out after the Edinburgh defeat a couple of weeks ago.
"We got to experiment a small bit in the Bourgoin game last weekend - throw it around a bit. Bringing on the likes of Tomas (O'Leary), Jeremy (Manning) and Lifeimi (Mafi) from the bench was good as well. That will help us in the Magners League, when the internationals are away."
Match Odds: Paddy Power - To Win: Llanelli 1/5, Munster 3/1; Draw: 22/1
PREVIOUS LEAGUE MEETINGS:
September 2003 - Munster 12 Llanelli 19, Thomond Park
February 2004 - Llanelli 37 Munster 20, Stradey Park
October 2004 - Munster 19 Llanelli 13, Thomond Park
January 2005 - Llanelli 32 Munster 17, Stradey Park
September 2005 - Munster 14 Llanelli 13, Musgrave Park
May 2006 - Llanelli 18 Munster 6, Stradey Park
- The Scarlets have won their last four matches in the Magners League since tripping up (31-16) to Ulster on September 2. The Welsh region have lost just one of their last 18 home games in all competitions since September 2005. In January of this year, they went down 49-42 to Toulouse in the Heineken Cup
- Munster will now be keen to translate their European form into league points in the Magners league, following successive Heineken Cup wins over Leicester and Bourgoin. The province are in the midst of their worst ever away run in the league, which now stands at five successive losses on the road since last April
- The Scarlets have the slight edge in previous meetings against Munster in the league, securing four wins out of six. Munster have won at Stradey Park before - 20-13 against Llanelli RFC in the league in August 2002
- Ireland international Alan Quinlan, who has been moved to number 8 for Sunday's tie, certainly enjoys playing against the Scarlets. The Tipperary man has scored three tries in Munster's last four games against the Welsh side, and at three different venues - Thomond Park, Stradey Park and Musgrave Park
- Quinlan scored the all-important try in Munster's 14-13 win over the Scarlets at Musgrave Park in September of last year. However, the Welsh men were too good at Stradey Park last May with two tries from Alix Popham sealing an 18-6 triumph
- Recalled out-half Jeremy Manning (23 points) is Munster's top points scorer in the league, thanks to 1 conversion and 7 penalties. Stephen Jones - Llanelli's top scorer with 55 points - is absent due to the Autumn internationals
- Manning's kicking success rate currently stands at 72.73% after 8 out of 11 strikes. The New Zealand-born number 10 has kicked his last three shots
- Darren Daniel, who has also been recalled to the Scarlets' line-up, remains the league's top try scorer after 4 tries in 5 games. Flanker David Wallace has touched down twice so far for Munster