12 Dec, 14:42
Prop Cian Healy is expected to miss the start of the 2014 RBS 6 Nations after undergoing surgery on his injured ankle on Wednesday.
Ireland flanker David Wallace will line out on the right wing for Munster in tonight's Celtic League opener against Border Reivers at Thomond Park (kick-off 7.10pm).
It will be the 29-year-old's first start in the position, but Wallace is not unduly worried. "I'm very much looking forward to the challenge. I've played (on the wing) a few times, although I've never actually started a game in the position."
Returning coach Declan Kidney has made some notable changes for the visit of Steve Bates' Borders, who include Lions caps Chris Cusiter and Gregor Townsend at half-back, to Limerick.
Captain Anthony Foley returns having missed last week's 50-19 friendly loss in Leicester, taking over from stand-in skipper Stephen Keogh at number 8. Denis Leamy comes in as blindside flanker, while Marcus Horan also replaces Frank Roche as the province's loosehead prop.
In the backs, only Paul Burke and Rob Henderson retain their positions from the Tigers' defeat.
South African centre Trevor Halstead and Italian prop Federico Pucciariello have been installed for their competitive debuts too.
Commenting on his selection, Kidney admitted: "With the number of injuries we have now at the start of the season - Anthony Horgan, Mike Mullins and Christian Cullen - it's important we try out all our options, use the various combinations and see how they work."
The men in red are in good stead for an opening win - they have won their last four League matches, while being unbeaten at home in the competition since April of last year. Ironically, it was a Scottish side - Edinburgh - who defeated them 28-17 back then in Cork, but last season's basement boys the Borders, winless in seven, are unlikely to end Munster's streak.
Tonight's visitors are still to record an away victory in their fourth season of Celtic League action.
MUNSTER: Shaun Payne; David Wallace, Trevor Halstead, Rob Henderson, John Kelly; Paul Burke, Peter Stringer; Marcus Horan, Jerry Flannery, Federico Pucciariello, Trevor Hogan, Mick O'Driscoll, Stephen Keogh, Denis Leamy, Anthony Foley (Capt).
Replacements: Frank Roche, Frank Sheahan, John O'Sullivan, Alan Quinlan, Frank Murphy, Jeremy Manning, Barry Murphy.
BORDERS: Stuart Moffat; Simon Danielli, Ben MacDougall, Charlie Hore,
Garry Law; Gregor Townsend, Chris Cusiter; Paul Thomson (Capt), Ross Ford, Bruce
Douglas, Opeta Palepoi, Colin Stewart, Wayne McEntee, Scott Gray, Kelly Brown.
Replacements: Brendan McKerchar, Lee Kibble, John Dalziel, Andy Miller, Andy
Rennick, Steve Scott, Tommy McGee.
Referee: Tim Hayes (Wales)