Simon Zebo has been passed fit to take his place in the Munster team for Sunday’s Heineken Cup quarter-final against Harlequins at the Twickenham Stoop (kick-off 2pm), but the province’s captain Doug Howlett misses out with a shoulder injury.
It will be Simon Zebo’s first appearance for Munster since the home Heineken Cup clash with Racing Metro 92 in January, after which he injured a foot in Ireland’s second RBS Six Nations match against England.
Fellow winger Doug Howlett damaged a shoulder in the act of reaching for the line to score a try last weekend against Glasgow Warriors. He sat out Tuesday’s training session at Musgrave Park before being ruled out for selection today.
Back into the side, however, come Ireland internationals Conor Murray, Peter O’Mahony and Donnacha Ryan, who was also mentioned on Tuesday as a doubt, for the trip to the Twickenham Stoop.
Like Murray and O’Mahony, Ryan has not played since Ireland’s defeat to Italy for which he was considered doubtful because of a shoulder/back injury that had been affecting him during the Championship.
Nevertheless, he gets the nod over Donncha O’Callaghan to partner Paul O’Connell in the province’s second row, with O’Connell captaining the side in Howlett’s absence.
Cathal Sheridan and Ivan Dineen, who are listed among the replacements, are both hoping to get their first taste of Heineken Cup fare.
MUNSTER (v Harlequins): Felix Jones; Denis Hurley, Casey Laulala, James Downey, Simon Zebo; Ronan O’Gara, Conor Murray; David Kilcoyne, Mike Sherry, BJ Botha, Donnacha Ryan, Paul O’Connell (capt), Peter O’Mahony, Tommy O’Donnell, James Coughlan.
Replacements: Damien Varley, Wian du Preez, Stephen Archer, Donncha O’Callaghan, Paddy Butler, Cathal Sheridan, Ian Keatley, Ivan Dineen.