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Internationals Back In Munster Side

Internationals Back In Munster Side

Munster will be bolstered by a number of returning international players for Saturday’s Magners League match against the Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium (kick-off 6.30pm).

Out-half Ronan O’Gara will captain Munster as they look to continue their winning run. Tony McGahan’s men have chalked up seven successive victories across the Magners League and Amlin Challenge Cup.

Keith Earls, Donncha O’Callaghan and David Wallace are also back on first team duty, along with Felix Jones, Doug Howlett and James Coughlan.

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In all, there are 14 changes – three of which are positional – to the side that overcome the Scarlets 13-6 in Llanelli last weekend.

In the back-line, the inclusion of Jones at full-back means a switch to centre for Paul Warwick, with Lifeimi Mafi positioned at outside centre in the absence of the injured Johne Murphy (eye).

Up front only two players who featured from the start against the Scarlets, Marcus Horan and Donnacha Ryan, are retained. Ryan will pack down this time in the back row.

Commenting on the clash with the defending league champions, Munster hooker Damien Varley said: “It’s all about momentum and keeping that as we go into the final stages of the season.

“We have the semi-final of the Amlin Challenge Cup the following weekend and this game couldn’t come at a better time in that context.

“There is also huge competition for places in the squad, so everyone’s playing for their place and looking for a good performance to stake a claim for inclusion next time around.”

MUNSTER (v Ospreys): Felix Jones; Doug Howlett, Lifeimi Mafi, Paul Warwick, Keith Earls; Ronan O’Gara (capt), Conor Murray; Marcus Horan, Damien Varley, John Hayes, Ian Nagle, Donncha O’Callaghan, Donnacha Ryan, David Wallace, James Coughlan.

Replacements: Mike Sherry, Wian du Preez, Tony Buckley, Tommy O’Donnell, Niall Ronan, Peter Stringer, Danny Barnes, Simon Zebo.