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O’Connell And Jones To Start For Munster

O’Connell And Jones To Start For Munster

Paul O’Connell and Felix Jones, who both returned to action with Munster last weekend, will make their first starts of the season in Saturday’s RaboDirect PRO12 derby against Leinster at Thomond Park (kick-off 6.45pm).

Further positive news sees the return of BJ Botha and Conor Murray who are both named on the province’s replacements bench.

Prop Botha, who sustained a knee injury in Munster’s pre-season game against London Irish, has displayed great commitment to the rehab programme set out by the medical staff in getting match ready for the round five fixture.

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Head coach Rob Penney has opted to start the fit-again Felix Jones at full-back on Saturday, with Keith Earls switching to the right wing as Casey Laulala and James Downey resume their centre partnership.

With the return of 2013 Lion Murray, Cathal Sheridan misses out this week with Duncan Williams starting alongside Ian Keatley at half-back.

Stepping up for his first start of the season, Paul O’Connell joins Donnacha Ryan in the second row pairing, while young captain Peter O’Mahony, Niall Ronan and James Coughlan form the back row.

Tickets are currently on sale for Saturday’s game online here, from the Munster Rugby ticket offices in Thomond Park and Musgrave Park, or by calling Ticketmaster on 0818 719300.

Please note tickets will be on sale on matchday from 9am from the Ticketmaster van at Hassett’s Cross and from 4.45pm from the West Stand ticket office.

MUNSTER (v Leinster): Felix Jones; Keith Earls, Casey Laulala, James Downey, Simon Zebo; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; David Kilycoyne, Mike Sherry, Stephen Archer, Donncha Ryan, Paul O’Connell, Peter O’Mahony (capt), Niall Ronan, James Coughlan.

Replacements: Damien Varley, James Cronin, BJ Botha, Donncha O’Callaghan, CJ Stander, Conor Murray, JJ Hanrahan, Denis Hurley.