The fit-again David Wallace will make his return to action with Munster on Sunday, having been named amongst the replacements for the rescheduled RaboDirect PRO12 match against Aironi Rugby in Viadana (kick-off 3pm local time/2pm Irish time).
David Wallace is poised to make his seasonal debut for Munster, after a long road to recovery from the knee injury which ruled him out of Ireland’s Rugby World Cup plans back in August.
Meanwhile, hooker Mike Sherry will make his first start since September having recovered from an ankle injury he sustained when playing for Garryowen in a club game.
Also included in the province’s starting line-up is in-form winger Simon Zebo who missed their most recent game in Newport due to international commitments.
Tomas O’Leary’s call-up to the Ireland matchday squad for the Scotland match means there is a place on the Munster bench for Academy player Cathal Sheridan.
Commenting on Wallace’s welcome return to matchday duty, stand-in captain Mick O’Driscoll said: “It is of course great to have him back in the squad.
“Never mind the fact that he’s a class player, to see him recovered from what was a serious injury, to have him back involved, is just a great boost to us all coming at such a crucial point in the season.
“It’s always a difficult time with lads away (on international duty), and points at this stage are so crucial. People say there are no trophies given out in March, and they”e right.
“But you can lose trophies at this stage of a season. That’s why the win last weekend against the Dragons in Wales was so important.
“Now we need to back that up in Italy. We’ve virtually the same squad, a few additions like Simon (Zebo) and Denis (Hurley) and of course Wally. And that’s important too because there were a lot of bruised bodies after the last game.”
MUNSTER (v Aironi Rugby): Felix Jones, Denis Hurley, Savenaca Tokula, Lifeimi Mafi, Simon Zebo; Scott Deasy, Duncan Williams; Wian du Preez, Mike Sherry, Stephen Archer, Billy Holland, Mick O’Driscoll (capt), David O’Callaghan, Tommy O’Donnell, Paddy Butler.
Replacements: Denis Fogarty, Marcus Horan, BJ Botha, Ian Nagle, David Wallace, Cathal Sheridan, Ian Keatley, Luke O’Dea.