Hooker Mike Sherry will lead out the Munster team when they take on the Scarlets in Llanelli on Saturday night (kick-off 6.30pm).
The 24-year-old Mike Sherry becomes one of the youngest players to captain the province following on from fellow forward Peter O’Mahony, who led the side in the opening games of the 2011/12 campaign.
Sherry, who agreed a new two-year contract last month, starts in the number 2 jersey at Parc y Scarlets. Damien Varley, who has just penned a deal that keeps him at Munster for the next two seasons, was due to provide back-up as the reserve hooker.
But a knee injury has forced Varley out of the matchday squad, with Sean Henry taking his place on the replacements bench.
There are changes aplenty in Rob Penney’s starting line-up with Donncha O’Callaghan and Ronan O’Gara, two members of Ireland’s RBS 6 Nations squad, both included.
That means a switch to full-back for the in-form Ian Keatley, a position he occupied earlier this season against the Newport Gwent Dragons and Racing Metro 92.
MUNSTER (v Scarlets): Ian Keatley; Denis Hurley, Ivan Dineen, JJ Hanrahan, Johne Murphy; Ronan O’Gara, Duncan Williams; Wian du Preez, Mike Sherry (capt), BJ Botha, Donncha O’Callaghan, Ian Nagle, CJ Stander, Tommy O’Donnell, Paddy Butler.
Replacements: Sean Henry, John Ryan, Stephen Archer, Billy Holland, Sean Dougall, Cathal Sheridan, Danny Barnes, Casey Laulala.