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200 Not Out For Munster’s Micko

200 Not Out For Munster’s Micko

On a night that Mick O’Driscoll makes his 200th appearance for Munster, Savenaca Tokula will make his debut as the province battle it out with the Newport Gwent Dragons at Rodney Parade (kick-off 6.30pm).

With Danny Barnes rule out through injury, recent signing Savenaca Tokula, who arrived in Cork last Sunday week, lines out in the centre alongside Lifeimi Mafi.

The selected back-line shows two changes in personnel to the one that started against the Cardiff Blues last time out. Luke O’Dea takes over on the right wing from Simon Zebo, who has been involved with the Ireland squad this week.

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Up front, only the back row remains the same. Dave Foley replaces Billy Holland in the second row row, while Damien Varley and BJ Botha make way for Denis Fogarty and Stephen Archer in the front row.

Mick O’Driscoll, who made his debut for Munster in August 1998, will achieve a significant milestone against the Dragons as he chalks up his 200th senior provincial cap.

Joining an elite band of players, O’Driscoll’s achievement is all the more extraordinary given that he spent two years with Perpignan in France.

As things currently stand, Peter Stringer leads the way for most Munster caps on 223, followed by Ronan O’Gara (219) and John Hayes (217).

Marcus Horan was the last player to hit the magical 200 mark back in December and it is likely that only one other player – Donncha O’Callaghan – will emulate him and the 33-year-old O’Driscoll.

MUNSTER (v Newport Gwent Dragons): Felix Jones; Luke O’Dea, Savenaca Tokula, Lifeimi Mafi, Johne Murphy; Ian Keatley, Tomas O’Leary; Marcus Horan, Denis Fogarty, Stephen Archer, Dave Foley, Mick O’Driscoll (capt), David O’Callaghan, Tommy O’Donnell, James Coughlan.

Replacements: Mike Sherry, Wian du Preez, BJ Botha, Billy Holland, Paddy Butler, Duncan Williams, Scott Deasy, Denis Hurley.