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Stringer Set For 200th Munster Cap

Stringer Set For 200th Munster Cap

Peter Stringer will win his 200th cap for Munster in Friday’s Magners League derby clash with Ulster at Ravenhill (kick-off 7.05pm).

The selected Munster team shows seven personnel changes and one positional switch to the side that started against Benetton Treviso last weekend.

Eight Academy or Development players are included in the matchday squad, with first starts going to centre Ivan Dineen, hooker Mike Sherry and lock Ian Nagle.

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The back-three of Scott Deasy, Doug Howlett and Denis Hurley remain intact from the bonus point win over Treviso, with centre Johne Murphy and scrum half Peter Stringer also retained.

Stringer will be hoping to crown his 200th competitive game for Munster with a win as the province look to stay at the top of the Magners League, ahead of the November internationals.

Dineen, a sub Academy player who secured a short term training contract recently, gets a chance to impress at inside centre, alongside the in-form Murphy.

Sherry, a try-scoring replacement against Treviso, and John Hayes have been drafted into the front row, with Cork Constitution duo Nagle and Billy Holland forming the second row partnership.

Niall Ronan takes over from David Wallace at openside flanker, in the final change made by head coach Tony McGahan.

Amongst the replacements, the fit-again Barry Murphy is poised to make his comeback from a series of frustrating injuries. If involved, it will be Murphy’s first appearance for Munster since starting against the Newport Gwent Dragons 13 months ago.

The 27-year-old centre/winger had a 40-minute runout for UL Bohemians in the All-Ireland League last Saturday, scoring an intercept try in their 19-9 home win over Lansdowne.

Looking forward to his fourth start of the current campaign, Munster number 8 James Coughlan said: “Ravenhill is always a difficult place to go. The last time we won up there was about three years ago. Anyone who goes up there finds it hard.

“Again I think it comes back to our set piece, our lineout, our scrum, doing the simple things right.

“If we can win the small battles as it were, then hopefully we are good enough on the night to get a result.”

Reflecting on last weekend’s 39-13 victory over Treviso, he added: “We had a good result against Treviso. It’s always hard, especially after the emotions of the previous week (against Toulon), which was a massive game for us – one we had to win.

“We needed to roll up our sleeves and dig in. Our set piece was very good in the first half. The scrum was excellent. We converted any time we got inside their 22 which was important.

“Overall, I was pleased with the result. Sure there are things we need to fix up, but it was important to get the result, which keeps up top of the table.”

MUNSTER (v Ulster): Scott Deasy; Doug Howlett, Johne Murphy, Ivan Dineen, Denis Hurley; Paul Warwick, Peter Stringer; Wian du Preez, Mike Sherry, John Hayes, Billy Holland, Ian Nagle, Alan Quinlan, Niall Ronan, James Coughlan.

Replacements: Sean Henry, Darragh Hurley, Stephen Archer, Tommy O’Donnell, Peter O’Mahony, Duncan Williams, Barry Murphy, Simon Zebo.