Head coach Rob Penney has made a series of changes for the resumption of Munster’s RaboDirect PRO12 run against the Scarlets at Musgrave Park on Sunday (kick-off 5.15pm).
In the only positional switch, Ian Keatley reverts to his favoured out-half position occupied last time out by Ronan O’Gara, who will be on the bench for Ireland against Argentina this weekend.
Two of the five personnel changes made by the Munster management are injury enforced. Niall Ronan, who is back after almost two months, replaces Sean Dougall in the back row.
The number 8 jersey will be worn by Tipperary youngster Paddy Butler. He comes in for Tommy O’Donnell who sustained an ankle injury during last week’s ‘A’ interprovincial clash with Leinster.
Elsewhere, Wian du Preez starts ahead of Marcus Horan at loosehead prop, Ian Nagle partners Billy Holland in the second row this time around and James Downey is back as centre partner to Casey Laulala.
Eager to return to league action, flanker Ronan said: “I suppose injury is just part and parcel of the game, you’ve got to get on with it. I’m really looking forward to Sunday and getting back out there.
“The Scarlets are always a dangerous team no matter who plays for them. Home or away, they are invariably always tight games.”
He added: “We’ve concentrated on scrums and lineouts this week and if we can match them in those areas then I think we’ll have a good chance.
“We’re expecting a very tough game. I think the Welsh teams are very physical. We have to match them in the physical side – in the pack. If we don’t do that then we’ll be under serious pressure.”
MUNSTER (v Scarlets): Felix Jones; Doug Howlett (capt), Casey Laulala, James Downey, Luke O’Dea; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; Wian du Preez, Mike Sherry, Stephen Archer, Ian Nagle, Billy Holland, David O’Callaghan, Niall Ronan, Paddy Butler.
Replacements: Damien Varley, Marcus Horan, BJ Botha, David Foley, CJ Stander, Peter Stringer, JJ Hanrahan, Denis Hurley.