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Munster Welcome Back Wallace And Dowling

Munster Welcome Back Wallace And Dowling

Flanker David Wallace and winger Ian Dowling both return to the Munster team for Friday’s Magners League encounter with Connacht at the Sportsground (kick-off 7.30pm).

Wallace missed Munster’s 42-6 win over Ulster last Saturday because of a leg injury picked up in Ireland’s final Six Nations match against England the previous weekend.

Meanwhile, Dowling has recovered from the stomach bug which forced him to withdraw from the Munster side just hours before the Ulster game at Musgrave Park.

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The other players who missed out last day because of injury – back rower Denis Leamy and Rua Tipoki – have both named on a nine-strong bench.

A decision on their participation will be taken tomorrow morning and there is a vacancy left in the centre pending that decision. Tipoki has been nursing a back injury, while Leamy injured his shoulder early on in Ireland’s recent defeat to England.

Apart from the midfield vacancy, Munster coach Declan Kidney has made six confirmed changes to the side that started against Ulster.

There are three alterations in the back-line with Dowling coming in for Brian Carney and there are direct swaps at half-back with Paul Warwick and Peter Stringer preferred to Ronan O’Gara and Tomas O’Leary, two try scorers last time out who drop to the bench.

Tony Buckley, who also touched down against Ulster, moves to the loosehead side of the scrum as John Hayes returns in place of Marcus Horan.

Munster captain Paul O’Connell makes way for his international colleague Donncha O’Callaghan in the second row, while Niall Ronan seems hard done by, given his man-of-the-match performance last Saturday, as he loses out due to the return of Wallace.

The 195-times capped Anthony Foley, whose testimonial details were announced earlier this week, will captain the men in red in Galway.

MUNSTER (v Connacht): Denis Hurley; Doug Howlett, Lifeimi Mafi, AN Other, Ian Dowling; Paul Warwick, Peter Stringer; Tony Buckley, Jerry Flannery, John Hayes, Donncha O’Callaghan, Mick O’Driscoll, Alan Quinlan, David Wallace, Anthony Foley (capt).

Replacements: Frankie Sheahan, Marcus Horan, Paul O’Connell, Donnacha Ryan/Denis Leamy, Tomas O’Leary, Ronan O’Gara, Kieran Lewis/Rua Tipoki.