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O’Callaghan Set For 200th Munster Cap

O’Callaghan Set For 200th Munster Cap

With seven members of their squad from the Heineken Cup loss to Ulster ruled out through injury, Munster have been forced to reshuffle their side for Saturday’s RaboDirect PRO12 match against Glasgow Warriors at Musgrave Park (kick-off 7.15pm).

BJ Botha (ribs), captain Paul O’Connell (knee), James Coughlan (hand), Keith Earls (ankle), Ronan O’Gara (leg), Denis Hurley (leg) and David Wallace (knee) are all sidelined for the visit of the Scottish side.

Danny Barnes (knee), Dave Foley (shoulder), Ian Nagle (shoulder) and David O’Callaghan (knee) are also on the province’s injury list.

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That means that just three of the pack from the Ulster game retain their starting positions, while there are five changes to the starting backs.

Corkman Donncha O’Callaghan will win his 200th Munster cap, linking up in the second row with Mick O’Driscoll, who captains the side.

The versatile Peter O’Mahony moves to number 8 in the absence of Coughlan with Donnacha Ryan slotting in at blindside flanker.

In the backs, Johne Murphy takes over from Earls at outside centre, Luke O’Dea replaces Hurley out wide and Ian Keatley is in for the injured O’Gara at out-half with scrum half Tomas O’Leary preferred on this occasion to Conor Murray.

Eager for his players to bounce back from two successive home defeats, Munster head coach Tony McGahan said: “You need to have time to reflect and get over it (the European exit) personally. We didn’t come together as a group until Wednesday, so we have had that opportunity.

“The game moves on, we need to train and we need to get on with it. It is not easy but it is what we are here to do and what we are about and how we react is very important.

“Where we finish, we probably don’t have a huge amount of control because of the nature of the game, but what we do know is that if we look after our own end we’ll be in the semi-finals.”

Munster are currently third in the league table, level on 56 points with fourth-placed Glasgow and Ulster are a further point back in fifth.

McGahan’s men are away to the Scarlets and then at home to Ulster in the final two rounds of league action, so a victory on Saturday night is a must.

MUNSTER (v Glasgow Warriors): Felix Jones; Luke O’Dea, Johne Murphy, Lifeimi Mafi, Simon Zebo; Ian Keatley, Tomas O’Leary; Wian du Preez, Mike Sherry, Stephen Archer, Donncha O’Callaghan, Mick O’Driscoll (capt), Donnacha Ryan, Tommy O’Donnell, Peter O’Mahony.

Replacements: Damien Varley, Marcus Horan, John Ryan, Billy Holland, Paddy Butler, Conor Murray, Scott Deasy, Ivan Dineen.