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O’Callaghan And Sherry Added To Munster Pack

O’Callaghan And Sherry Added To Munster Pack

There were no real surprises when the Munster team was released for their Heineken Cup round 2 showdown with Edinburgh at Thomond Park on Sunday (kick-off 12.45pm).

As expected, the fit-again  Donncha O’Callaghan returns to partner Paul O’Connell in the second row, while Mick Sherry starts on this occasion ahead of Damien Varley in the only changes up front. 

The hamstring injury to Ronan O’Gara means a first Heineken Cup start at number 10 for Ian Keatley with the ever reliable Denis Hurley claiming the full-back berth that Keatley occupied before O’Gara’s departure against Racing Metro.

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Two notable inclusions amongst the replacements are the 20-year-old JJ Hanrahan, who is standing by to make his European bow, and the fit-again Felix Jones. Both players featured for Munster ‘A’ in their British & Irish Cup win in Plymouth last weekend.

On Sunday Munster face an Edinburgh side who were trounced at home in their opening game by Saracens, but it would seem very naive to gauge the Scots’ ability on that one performance. And one person who is not is the province’s head coach Rob Penney.

“They did some really good things against Saracens. If you look at that game closely you’d be remiss to disregard their display totally, because they did some really good things,” he said.

“They got, and I know its very un-Edinburgh like, but they got beaten up a few times at some breakdown situations and a couple of times at set piece.

“So undoubtedly they’ll be doing some work in that area. And they’ll come to Thomond Park, hopefully thinking they’re coming in under the radar after that loss.

“But we’re certainly doing as much diligent research as we’d done in any other game to ensure that we’re as prepared as we can be. And I think there’s two sides hurting a bit. There could be fireworks.”

MUNSTER (v Edinburgh): Denis Hurley; Doug Howlett (capt), Casey Laulala, James Downey, Simon Zebo; Ian Keatley, Conor Murray; David Kilcoyne, Mike Sherry, BJ Botha, Donncha O’Callaghan, Paul O’Connell, Donnacha Ryan, Sean Dougall, Peter O’Mahony.

Replacements: Damien Varley, Marcus Horan, Stephen Archer, Billy Holland, Paddy Butler, Duncan Williams, JJ Hanrahan, Felix Jones.