Munster head coach Rob Penney has altered his starting line-up for Saturday’s RaboDirect PRO12 derby match against Leinster at the Aviva Stadium (kick-off 6.30pm), making six changes to the side that lost to the Ospreys.
All of those changes come up front, three of them involving players were on the bench for the game in Swansea last weekend. Injuries to Niall Ronan (groin) and Marcus Horan (eye) were the other considerations.
Munster’s starting back-line remains the same with captain Doug Howlett leading the side out on the occasion of his 100th competitive appearance for the province.
Ronan picked up a slight groin injury in training on Thursday, while Horan continues to recover from a cut under the eye that he received in an Ulster Bank League outing for Shannon.
That means a second start in an interprovincial derby this season for young prop David Kilcoyne, who also lined out against Ulster last month. The 23-year-old comes in for Wian du Preez who drops to the replacements bench.
Elsewhere, Ireland internationals Donnacha Ryan and Peter O’Mahony return to the starting line-up for the first time this season.
David O’Calllaghan also resumes at blindside flanker, a position he impressed in during three of Munster’s recent games against Benetton Treviso, Ulster and the Newport Gwent Dragons.
MUNSTER (v Leinster): Denis Hurley; Doug Howlett (capt, Keith Earls, Casey Laulala, Simon Zebo; Ronan O’Gara, Conorr Murray; David Kilcoyne, Mike Sherry, BJ Botha, Donncha O’Callaghan, Donnacha Ryan, David O’Callaghan, Sean Dougall, Peter O’Mahony.
Replacements: Damien Varley, Wian du Preez, Stephen Archer, Billy Holland, Paddy Butler, Duncan Williams, Ian Keatley, James Downey.