Rotation is the order of the day for Munster as they make ten changes for the trip to Rodney Parade and a chance to break their Welsh hoodoo.
…Paul O’Connell on the charge in last weekend’s clash with Connacht – he will be on the bench again this week…
Munster continue to climb the table but can they break their Welsh hoodoo as they visit a Newport Gwent Dragons side looking for a sixth home win. Munster have lost their last five league games in Wales.
Newport Gwent Dragons V Munster
Rodney Parade 7:10 p.m. (BBC Wales)
Referee: Andy MacPherson, Touch Judges: Keri Evans, Gwyn Morris
Decland Kidney has made ten changes to the side that beat Connacht. O’Gara and Stringer are both rested and O’Connell is on the bench but there is no lack of experience as four of the injured big guns make a welcome return.
Marcus Horan, Anthony Foley, Mick O’Driscoll and Anthony Horgan all start, with Manning and O’Leary as the half backs and a youthful feel to the bakcline generally with Murphy, Dowling and Mafi all featuring.
The Dragons have named an unchanged backline but have made two changes in the pack with highly experienced Colin Charvis and Michael Owen coming in to the back row.
Dragons Coach Paul Turner said: “There certainly is no let up in intensity for us,” said Head Coach Paul Turner, “and with a packed January it is a busy opening to 2007 for everyone at The Dragons. Against the Blues and Ospreys I think we showed that we have a side at The Dragons, who, on their day can compete and come away with the spoils.”
October 2003 – Dragons 29 Munster 6
March 2004 – Munster 6 Dragons 16
November 2004 – Munster 25 – Dragons 16
March 2005 – Dragons 8 Munster 24
January 2006 – Munster 10 Dragons 8
April 2006 – Dragons 23 Munster 17
MUNSTER: C Cullen; A Horgan, B Murphy, L Mafi, I Dowling; J Manning, T S’Leary; M Horan, A Kyraicou, T Buckley; D Ryan, M O’Driscoll; J O’Sullivan, D Leamy, A Foley.
Replacements: F Pucciariello, E McGovern, P O’Connell, J Coughlan, B O’Meara, E Hickie, T Halstead.
DRAGONS: K Morgan; G Wyatt, P Emerick, A Smith, N Brew; C Sweeney, G Cooper; A Black, B Daly, L Harrison; I Gough, L Charteris/P Sidoli; C Charvis, J Ringer, M Owen.
Replacements: K Crawford, D Maddocks, A Hall, N Fitisemanu, G Chapman, M Hercus, A Walker.