Jump to main content


Munster Recall Jones For Festive Derby

Munster Recall Jones For Festive Derby

Although they are without some of the personnel that served them so superbly in Perpignan last Sunday, Munster have shown a strong hand for the St. Stephen’s Day Magners League derby encounter with Connacht at Thomond Park (kick-off 7.30pm).

Nine of the side that recorded that famous victory at the Stade Aime Giral last Sunday are absent, as is Denis Leamy who suffered the disappointment of an ankle injury in the last play of the game that rules him out for at least four months.

However, the man who pulled the strings at out-half, Ronan O’Gara, leads the side on Saturday and two of the try scorers, Denis Hurley and Jean de Villiers, have also been included for the clash with Connacht.

Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

Notably, in the province’s back-line, Ireland ‘A’ international Felix Jones gets a run at full-back and Ian Dowling replaces Doug Howlett on the left wing.

Saturday’s interprovincial is a game that provides Munster with the opportunity to get their Magners League campaign back on track, according to experienced lock Mick O’Driscoll.

“We wouldn’t be at all happy with our form in the league. It’s something we’ve spoken about and need to address,” he admitted.

“This game provides not only the chance to do that but also gives lads the opportunity to put their hands up (for selection).” 

After the highs of last weekend, the possibility of complacency will not be an issue for the Corkman and his team-mates.

“Not at all. The changes freshen things up and brings a different impetus to the side.

“Connacht have done every bit as well as us in Europe these past weeks, beating Worcester twice, and they’l be full of confidence. So no, we know what we’ll be up against. These game are never a ‘gimme’. Never easy.”

MUNSTER (v Connacht): Felix Jones; Denis Hurley, Tom Gleeson, Jean de Villiers, Ian Dowling; Ronan O’Gara (capt), Peter Stringer; Julien Brugnaut, Damien Varley, Tony Buckley, Mick O’Driscoll, Donnacha Ryan, Billy Holland, Niall Ronan, Nick Williams.

Replacements: Mike Sherry, Wian du Preez, James Coughlan, Tommy O’Donnell, Duncan Williams, Paul Warwick, Scott Deasy.