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Munster Choose Team For Pre-Season Opener

Munster Choose Team For Pre-Season Opener

A crowd of 10,000 is expected to turn up at Stade Marcel Deflandre in La Rochelle on Friday when Munster open their pre-season campaign against the French Division 2 side.

Munster head coach Tony McGahan has named his starting line-up following the squad training session this morning.

But there is no list of replacements as the management intend using all of the players who made the French trip, with the exception of Duncan Williams, BJ Botha and Doug Howlett.

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Scrum half Williams is recovering from a slight groin strain but is expected to be involved in the friendly next week against London Wasps, along with Howlett and Botha.

The issue with Williams plus the absence of the Ireland-tied Tomas O’Leary and Conor Murray necessitated the inclusion of Gerry Hurley. The Cork Constitution scrum half will form the half-back partnership with Garryowen’s Declan Cusack.

There is a familiar enough look to the province’s pack with the exception of former Ireland Under-20 international David O’Callaghan, who will start at blindside flanker.

MUNSTER (v La Rochelle): Johne Murphy; Denis Hurley, Danny Barnes, Scott Deasy, Simon Zebo; Declan Cusack, Gerry Hurley; Wian du Preez, Damien Varley, Stephen Archer, Billy Holland, Mick O’Driscoll, David O’Callaghan, Tommy O’Donnell, James Coughlan.