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Munster Reveal Line-Up For Ospreys Clash

Munster Reveal Line-Up For Ospreys Clash

Munster head coach Tony McGahan has made eight changes for the visit of the Ospreys to Thomond Park on Saturday in what is the last match in the opening phase of the RaboDirect PRO12.

It is by far the glamour tie of this series of games with the Ospreys the only team who are still unbeaten and leading Munster by three points at the top of the table.

Both sides will be desperate to get a win here and go into the break leading the league and doubtless one side will go into this game with an extra pep in their step as a result of proceedings in Wellington earlier in the day.

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Doug Howlett returns to Munster’s starting line-up and as a result Johne Murphy reverts to the full-back berth he has occupied so impressively up to now.

Danny Barnes also comes back in at outside centre, while this time around Duncan Williams starts at scrum half ahead of Peter Stringer.

Stephen Archer gets the nod over John Hayes in the front row and Billy Holland, the travelling reserve for last weekend’s clash with Edinburgh, will partner Mick O’Driscoll in the second row.

In what could be the deciding back row area, David O’Callaghan will make his first competitive start at blindside flanker, Niall Ronan retains the number 7 jersey and stand-in captain Peter O’Mahony completes the trio.

BJ Botha has been named on the replacements bench along with fellow prop Marcus Horan, who has recovered from the bout of illness that kept him out of the Edinburgh game.

Hoping Munster can bounce back from their reversal to the Scots, Holland said: “I think we lacked the bit of edge we had in the games before Edinburgh. We just weren’t sharp enough for whatever reason.

“We didn’t help ourselves. 16 points down after 20-odd minutes. We got ourselves back into the game by half-time, but then those scores early in the second half, ten points like. You’ve no chance at that stage.”

MUNSTER (v Ospreys): Johne Murphy; Doug Howlett, Danny Barnes, Lifeimi Mafi, Denis Hurley; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; Wian du Preez, Denis Fogarty, Stephen Archer, Billy Holland, Mick O’Driscoll, David O’Callaghan, Niall Ronan, Peter O’Mahony (capt).

Replacements: Sean Henry, Marcus Horan, BJ Botha, Ian Nagle, Tommy O’Donnell, Peter Stringer, Scott Deasy, Simon Zebo.