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O’Leary To Start For Munster

O’Leary To Start For Munster

Tomas O’Leary will partner Ronan O’Gara at half-back in the Munster team to take on Gloucester in Saturday’s Heineken Cup quarter-final clash at Kingsholm (kick-off 5.30pm).

It will be the 24-year-old O’Leary’s fourth Heineken Cup start and first since he lined out on the right wing against Cardiff Blues in December 2006.

He was used as a replacement against London Wasps in the province’s narrow defeat at the Ricoh Arena last November.

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But the Corkman has featured regularly for Munster in the Magners League in recent weeks and scored a try in their 42-6 victory over Ulster at Musgrave Park.

In all, Munster coach Declan Kidney has made four personnel changes and one positional switch to the team that started last weekend’s 16-5 Magners League win over Connacht.

The players to come in are centre Rua Tipoki, who has recovered from a back injury, half-backs Ronan O’Gara and O’Leary and prop Marcus Horan, who has shaken off the knock he sustained against Connacht.

The one positional switch sees Denis Leamy move from inside centre to the more familiar territory of the back row, with Anthony Foley, the Heineken Cup’s record caps holder, the player to lose out – although the veteran could still have a big role to play off the replacements bench.

Thanks to his good recent form, Cork Constitution clubman Denis Hurley (23) will make his Heineken Cup debut at full-back as he continues to keep Shaun Payne out of the side.

The inclusions of O’Gara, O’Leary and Horan see Paul Warwick, Peter Stringer and Tony Buckley drop to the bench, while Mick O’Driscoll edges Donnacha Ryan out as second row cover and Kieran Lewis will cover the outside backs.

MUNSTER (v Gloucester): Denis Hurley; Doug Howlett, Rua Tipoki, Lifeimi Mafi, Ian Dowling; Ronan O’Gara, Tomas O’Leary; Marcus Horan, Jerry Flannery, John Hayes, Donncha O’Callaghan, Paul O’Connell (capt), Alan Quinlan, David Wallace, Denis Leamy.

Replacements: Frankie Sheahan, Tony Buckley, Mick O’Driscoll, Anthony Foley, Peter Stringer, Paul Warwick, Kieran Lewis.

GLOUCESTER: Olly Morgan; Chris Paterson, James Simpson-Daniel, Anthony Allen, Lesley Vainikolo; Ryan Lamb, Rory Lawson; Nick Wood, Andy Titterrell, Carlos Nieto, Marco Bortolami (capt), Alex Brown, Peter Buxton, Andy Hazell, Luke Narraway.

Replacements: Jeremy Paul, Alasdair Dickinson, Will James, Gareth Delve, Gareth Cooper, Willie Walker, Mike Tindall.