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Buckley Back To Bolster Munster Side

Buckley Back To Bolster Munster Side

Fresh from providing prop back-up for the Ireland squad for last weekend’s World Cup Pool D clash with Argentina in Paris, Tony Buckley has been recalled to the Munster team for tomorrow’s Magners League meeting with the table-topping Cardiff Blues (Musgrave Park, kick-off 7.30pm).

Munster coach Declan Kidney has made three changes to the side that started last Friday’s victory over the Dragons – two in the pack and one at inside centre.

Buckley returns at tighthead prop, with Darragh Hurley dropping back to the replacements bench and Federico Pucciariello, who started at tighthead against the Dragons, switching to the loosehead side of the scrum.

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Young flanker Billy Holland, who was a try scorer last week, makes way for James Coughlan in the back row, while New Zealand Maori captain Rua Tipoki will start at number 12 in place of the benched Lifeimi Mafi.

Buckley was to have started against the Dragons last weekend but was called up to the Irish squad after Simon Best took ill.

There is added experience on the bench if Kidney wishes to use it. Two more men who were part of the Irish World Cup squad, hooker Frankie Sheahan and flanker Alan Quinlan, have been named in the province’s matchday 22 for the first time this season, at the expense of Academy players Sean Cronin and Tommy O’Donnell.

Munster have made an unbeaten start to the new Magners League campaign thanks to wins over the Llanelli Scarlets and the Dragons.

The men in red are gunning for their seventh successive victory in the league tomorrow – their last loss being a 20-12 defeat to the Ospreys on April 7. They have won four games in a row against Welsh opponents.

MUNSTER: Shaun Payne; Ian Dowling, Kieran Lewis, Rua Tipoki, Anthony Horgan; Paul Warwick, Tomas O’Leary; Federico Pucciariello, Denis Fogarty, Tony Buckley, Mark Melbourne, Mick O’Driscoll, James Coughlan, Niall Ronan, Anthony Foley (capt).

Replacements: Frankie Sheahan, Darragh Hurley, Alan Quinlan, Billy Holland, Gerry Hurley, Jeremy Manning, Lifeimi Mafi.