Munster have made just two changes – one of those positional – to their starting line-up for the trip to Murrayfield to face Edinburgh on Friday night (kick-off 7.05pm).
The positional change sees Donnacha Ryan switch from the blindside flanker to the second row as partner to Mick O’Driscoll. Billy Holland loses out in the reshuffle and Alan Quinlan, a second half replacement against Aironi Rugby, comes into the back row.
Otherwise, Munster coach Tony McGahan keeps faith with the side that opened with a bonus point Magners League win, as the province look to take this opportunity to start the process of improving their away form from last season.
“Our form away from home last season was poor, no question about that,” admitted McGahan this week.
“As this competition has evolved, it’s become harder and harder to win away from home. Last season, I think the best away form was that of the Ospreys who won three, two of those coming at the back-end against ourselves and Ulster, Leinster won twice on the road.
“You look at sides who don’t finish at the top, they’re still very difficult to turn over in their own ground.
“One of our big things this season is addressing our form on the road. If you want to do really well in this competition you need to.
“To that end, you need a strong focus. You have to take into account that things aren’t going to go your way.
“That’s the reality of it but you need to deal with it and get on with. So this weekend’s game is about addressing that.”
McGahan travels with a particularly strong replacements bench that includes Ireland internationals Ronan O’Gara, Tomas O’Leary and Donncha O’Callaghan for the first time this season. The trio wll see action at some stage at Murrayfield.
MUNSTER (v Edinburgh): Felix Jones; Doug Howlett, Johne Murphy, Sam Tuitupou, Ian Dowling; Paul Warwick, Peter Stringer; Wian du Preez, Damien Varley, Tony Buckley; Donnacha Ryan, Mick O’Driscoll; Alan Quinlan, Niall Ronan, Denis Leamy (capt).
Replacements: Denis Fogarty, Marcus Horan, John Hayes, Donncha O’Callaghan, Peter O’Mahony, Tomas O’Leary, Ronan O’Gara, Danny Barnes.