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O’Gara, Kilcoyne And Howlett Back For Munster

O’Gara, Kilcoyne And Howlett Back For Munster

Munster head coach Rob Penney has made five changes in personnel for Saturday’s RaboDirect PRO12 match against the Ospreys at Thomond Park (kick-off 6.30pm).

Three of the changes see the return of Ireland internationals Ronan O’Gara and David Kilcoyne and the province’s captain Doug Howlett.

The other notable switch is at scrum half where opportunity knocks for Cathal Sheridan who makes his first competitive start for Munster.

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The Munster management continue to rotate Garryowen club-mates Damien Varley and Mike Sherry, with Varley getting the nod for the number 2 jersey this time around.

Rob Penney keeps faith with the back five selected for the Benetton Treviso game even though Niall Ronan was back in the mix after an impressive 80 minutes for Shannon against Old Belvedere.

Sean Dougall has been preferred as back row cover to South African CJ Stander who is omitted from the matchday squad.

Hooker Sherry, who captained the side against Treviso, said: “We had to do a lot this week to pick ourselves up (after losing in Italy). We played very poorly.

“Rob and Simon (Mannix) are coming under stick in the press but it’s completely our fault. We didn’t turn up on the day; we played very poorly and didn’t play to any kind of game-plan.

“We let them get up a head of steam and it was always going to be difficult then in Italy. The weekend was just one bad thing after another, but there’s no excuses, we were terrible and that won’t do.”

“We need to up it again for the Ospreys and we owe the coaches and the fans a huge performance.”

MUNSTER (v Ospreys): Felix Jones; Doug Howlett (capt), Casey Laulala, James Downey, Denis Hurley; Ronan O’Gara, Cathal Sheridan; David Kilcoyne, Damien Varley, Stephen Archer, Ian Nagle, Billy Holland, Paddy Butler, Tommy O’Donnell, James Coughlan.

Replacements: Mike Sherry, Wian du Preez, BJ Botha, David Foley, Sean Dougall, Duncan Williams, Ian Keatley, Ivan Dineen.