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Munster Include Fit-Again Dowling

Munster Include Fit-Again Dowling

Ian Dowling has recovered from the ankle injury he picked up in the game against Edinburgh to take his place in the Munster side for Thursday’s Magners League meeting with the Scarlets at Musgrave Park (kick-off 7.35pm).

Also included in the Munster starting line-up is flanker Niall Ronan who was also injured in the win over Edinburgh, while there is a return to action for prop Dave Ryan who has recovered successfully from a shoulder operation.

With Ronan O’Gara and Tony Buckley not available due to international duty, Munster coach Tony McGahan has made eight changes in total to the side that disappointed against the Newport Gwent Dragons last time out.

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One of those changes is positional with Paul Warwick slotting in at out-half, while Scott Deasy gets to wear the number 15 jersey.

The accumulation of three yellow cards in the competition means Lifeimi Mafi gets an enforced rest, so Tom Gleeson will partner Jean de Villiers in midfield as he did in the game against Connacht back in December.

Up front it seems a case of freshening things up with hooker Damien Varley starting ahead of Denis Fogarty and Frenchman Julien Brugnaut taking over at tighthead prop from Buckley.

After a good showing in Newport, Billy Holland continues his second row partnership with skipper Mick O’Driscoll.

Meanwhile, Ronan’s return to fitness sees him preferred to Tommy O’Donnell in the number 7 jersey, with Dolphin duo Nick Williams and James Coughlan completing the Munster back row. 

MUNSTER (v Scarlets): Scott Deasy; Doug Howlett, Tom Gleeson, Jean de Villiers, Ian Dowling; Paul Warwick, Peter Stringer; Marcus Horan, Damien Varley, Julien Brugnaut, Mick O’Driscoll (capt), Billy Holland; Nick Williams, Niall Ronan, James Coughlan.

Replacements: Denis Fogarty, Dave Ryan, Alan Quinlan, Tommy O’Donnell, Duncan Williams, Jeremy Manning, Denis Hurley.