Kieran Lewis and Niall Ronan could both play against their former province Leinster on Friday, with the pair having been named in Munster’s matchday squad for the Magners League derby clash at Musgrave Park (kick-off 7.30pm).
With Brian Carney ruled out through injury, Kieran Lewis will face his former club-mates when he lines out on the right wing for Munster against Leinster.
A knee injury rules Carney out and gives Lewis another opportunity to catch the eye after his impressive try-scoring display against the Dragons last Saturday. The other change in the Munster back-line sees Shaun Payne return at full-back in place of Denis Hurley.
Changes in the pack from last time out see Marcus Horan, Jerry Flannery and John Hayes start in place of Federico Pucciariello, who is on duty with the Barbarians, Frankie Sheahan and Tony Buckley in a completely new front row. Both Sheahan and Buckley have been named on the replacements bench.
Donncha O’Callaghan renews his second row partnership with Mick O’Driscoll while Donnacha Ryan, who started ahead of O’Callaghan last Saturday, takes over from the injured Alan Quinlan (hand) at blindside flanker.
The other changes in the back row see David Wallace come back in at openside while Denis Leamy, a replacement last Saturday, starts this time while Anthony Foley is named on the bench.
Looking forward to a close game against his former province, Munster coach Declan Kidney said: “Munster-Leinster games are always great occasions, you only have to look at the demand for tickets over the past few weeks to know that. Certainly the interest in this game seems to be right up there with anything we’ve experienced in the past.
“As for the game itself, I think its going to be a great contest. Leinster are one of the top sides not alone in Ireland but in Europe so we’d have a lot of respect for them. There’ll be a great atmosphere and it’s days like these make this job so enjoyable.”
MUNSTER (v Leinster): Shaun Payne; Kieran Lewis, Rua Tipoki, Lifeimi Mafi, Ian Dowling; Ronan O’Gara (capt), Peter Stringer; Marcus Horan, Jerry Flannery, John Hayes, Donncha O’Callaghan, Mick O’Driscoll, Donnacha Ryan, David Wallace, Denis Leamy.
Replacements: Frankie Sheahan, Tony Buckley, Anthony Foley, Niall Ronan, Gerry Hurley, Paul Warwick, Barry Murphy.