In choosing his team for his first competitive game as Munster coach, Tony McGahan has made a number of changes to the side that secured a 35-14 pre-season friendly win over London Irish in Cork last week.
Rua Tipoki, one of last season’s Heineken Cup-winning heroes, returns to the Munster starting line-up for Friday’s encounter with Edinburgh (Murrayfield, kick-off 7.30pm), rekindling his centre partnership with Lifeimi Mafi.
Tipoki’s inclusion sees Keith Earls, who scored two tries in that victory over Irish, move to the right wing.
Ronan O’Gara, a second half substitute against the Exiles, comes in for Paul Warwick at out-half, while Munster will start their league campaign with an all-Irish international front five.
Marcus Horan, Jerry Flannery, John Hayes, Donncha O’Callaghan and team captain Paul O’Connell, who were all on bench duty against Irish, will start the Murrayfield clash.
David Wallace joins the in-form Donnacha Ryan and John O’Sullivan in the back row.
Third in the 2007/08 Magners League, Munster are targeting silverware both domestically and in Europe this season.
Team manager Shaun Payne said: “The Magners League is a massive goal, to be completely honest…to be more competitive and more consistent in the Magners League is a goal. It’s not acceptable if we’re not.”
MUNSTER (v Edinburgh): Doug Howlett; Keith Earls, Lifeimi Mafi, Rua Tipoki, Ian Dowling; Ronan O’Gara, Tomas O’Leary; Marcus Horan, Jerry Flannery, John Hayes, Donncha O’Callaghan, Paul O’Connell (capt), Donnacha Ryan, John O’Sullivan, David Wallace.
Replacements: Frankie Sheahan, Federico Pucciariello, Mick O’Driscoll, Justin Melck, Peter Stringer, Peter Warwick, Barry Murphy.