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Munster Name Team For Edinburgh Encounter

Munster Name Team For Edinburgh Encounter

Munster will field a team showing four changes from their last Heineken Cup outing when they tackle Edinburgh at Murrayfield on Sunday afternoon (kick-off 12.45pm).

The one back-line change sees Keith Earls, who was injured for the match away to Saracens, return to the starting line-up in place of Casey Laulala who drops to the bench.

Up front, David Kilcoyne and Tommy O’Donnell also return having missed the trip to Vicarage Road through illness and injury respectively.

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O’Donnell is included at the expense of David O’Callaghan, with the Tipperary man operating at openside flanker and Peter O’Mahony switching back to the blindside.

The other change in the pack sees Damien Varley start ahead of Mike Sherry who has recovered from an ankle injury to take his place among the replacements.

The Munstermen have slipped to third in the Pool 1 table, and the two-time champions require a big performance and result in order to keep them in the reckoning for a quarter-final spot.

Eager to bounce back from the Sarries defeat and last Saturday’s league loss at home to Cardiff, lock Donncha O’Callaghan said: “I think the lads are hurting, they were hugely disappointed with their performance (against Cardiff) and I think because we had the day off on Monday as well, it probably festered for a little bit longer.

“You find that it’s more carrot than stick at the moment and I don’t know how best to put it. You’ve to kind of help guys along and work with them as opposed to coming in and, like I said earlier, it’s grand to be a hurler on the ditch but we hurt as much as everyone.

“At Musgrave I met a guy coming out the door from Tipp and I was thinking I’d probably be at home sitting on my couch before him. He’s made a bigger sacrifice to get to the game and you feel bad for guys like that who come out.

“I know it’s overplayed by us sometimes but it’s really appreciated, and something that’s always led to us going well, that bond with the support.”

The Corkman added: “There are times when games can lift your season and be a turning point, and we know that Edinburgh have quality players who probably haven’t been performing as best as they’d like.

“So we know they’ll be gunning for a performance and sometimes when you can play free and the shackles are off and you’re not worried about anything, you can just go and play and put in massive performances.

“There’s a bit of drive for them and knowing Brads (Michael Bradley) so well, I know exactly what he’ll be saying in the dressing room. I know exactly how much he’ll want that win.”

MUNSTER (v Edinburgh): Felix Jones; Doug Howlett (capt), Keith Earls, James Downey, Simon Zebo; Ronan O’Gara, Conor Murray; David Kilcoyne, Damien Varley, BJ Botha, Donncha O’Callaghan, Donnacha Ryan, Peter O’Mahony, Tommy O’Donnell, James Coughlan.

Replacements: Mike Sherry, Wian du Preez, Stephen Archer, Billy Holland, Paddy Butler, Duncan Williams, Ian Keatley, Casey Laulala.