Garryowen winger Ciaran O’Boyle will make his competitive debut for Munster on Saturday night when Munster take on Edinburgh in the Magners League at Musgrave Park (kick-off 7.30pm).
O’Boyle, a regular in the Garryowen and Munster ‘A’ sides, will get a chance to impress at Magners League level after some encouraging displays in recent weeks.
Prop Tony Buckley has been named in the Munster team for Saturday’s clash with Edinburgh, with his Ireland colleagues Mick O’Driscoll, Denis Leamy, Alan Quinlan, Keith Earls and Peter Stringer also included.
Buckley has not started for Munster since the game against Connacht at the Sporsground at the end of December – illness ruled him out of consideration for the games against Ulster, the Ospreys, Sale and Montauban.
After his two most recent outings from the bench, Niall Ronan occupies the openside flanker berth with Nick Williams set for just his second start in the number 8 jersey.
There is a distinctly youthful look to the Munster replacements bench with Michael Essex, Billy Holland, Darragh Hurley and Jeremy Manning all set to play a role as the league leaders look to maintain their place at the head of affairs.
Past results against Edinburgh favour Munster who have not lost to the Scots in their last ten meetings but team manager Shaun Payne prefers to pay heed to performances.
“Statistics are all very fine, but you really have to look at the actual results of our most recent meetings,” he said.
“Last time we played Edinburgh here in Cork, we won by three points.
“We scored two very late penalties after Edinburgh had been reduced to 14 and earlier this year there was just a score between us at the end. So we’re under no illusions whatsoever about the task we face.”
The Munster squad have just returned from a week-long warm weather training camp in Lanzarote that Payne said went very well.
“It was very beneficial to have the squad, outside of the internationals obviously, together in good training (weather) conditions, with little disruption or the distractions that associated with this time of the year with all the international activity.”
MUNSTER (v Edinburgh): Denis Hurley; Doug Howlett, Keith Earls, Lifeimi Mafi, Ciaran O’Boyle; Paul Warwick, Peter Stringer; Federico Pucciariello, Denis Fogarty, Tony Buckley, Mick O’Driscoll (capt), Donnacha Ryan, Denis Leamy, Niall Ronan, Nick Williams.
Replacements: Michael Essex, Darragh Hurley, Billy Holland, Alan Quinlan, Mike Prendergast, Jeremy Manning, Kieran Lewis.