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Munster Rejig Side For Cardiff Clash

Munster Rejig Side For Cardiff Clash

In the absence of Paul O’Connell who was named in the squad earlier in the week, Munster will be led by Mick O’Driscoll for their final away game of the season, Sunday’s Magners League clash with Cardiff Blues at the Arms Park.

Paul O’Connell, who is nursing a bad back, sat out training in Limerick on Thursday morning and on Friday it was decided to omit him for the trip to Wales.

Munster team manager Shaun Payne said: “It’s nothing serious, Paul has a busy summer ahead of him and we felt it just wasn’t in his best interests to play this weekend.

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“However, we would be confident he will be involved in the final game of the season against the Ospreys next week.”

Munster include 13 players who were involved last weekend at Croke Park for a game that this time last week was seen as a potential dry run for the Heineken Cup final until the intervention of Leinster and the Leicester Tigers.

Also included in the starting line-up for the Arms Park encounter is Brian Carney on the right wing and Jeremy Manning at out-half.

There is an all-Limerick centre partnership in Barry Murphy and Keith Earls, with Lifeimi Mafi ruled out due to suspension.

Up front Nick Williams takes over from Alan Quinlan in the back row, where Niall Ronan is also in in place of David Wallace.

Munster Academy players, Dave Foley from UL Bohemians and Conor Murray from Garryowen, could make their senior debuts for the province off the bench.

MUNSTER (v Cardiff Blues): Denis Hurley; Brian Carney, Barry Murphy, Keith Earls, Ian Dowling; Jeremy Manning, Peter Stringer; Federico Pucciariello, Denis Fogarty, John Hayes, Donncha O’Callaghan, Mick O’Driscoll (capt), Nick Williams, Niall Ronan, Denis Leamy.

Replacements: Mike Essex, Tony Buckley, James Coughlan, Dave Foley, Conor Murray, Paul Warwick, Kieran Lewis.