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Munster Make Five Changes

Munster Make Five Changes

The Munster team to face Cardiff Blues in round 8 of the RaboDirect PRO12 in the Welsh capital on Saturday (kick-off 6.30pm) has been named.

Felix Jones, Donncha O’Callaghan, James Coughlan, Stephen Archer and Mike Sherry have all been released from the Ireland camp, with Jones starting at full-back and the latter quartet among the replacements.

Munster head coach Rob Penney has made five changes to the team that beat the Ospreys in the province’s last outing at Thomond Park.

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David Kilcoyne drops to the replacements bench, with James Cronin coming into the front row alongside BJ Botha and hooker Damien Varley who captains the side.

The only other change in the forwards sees Billy Holland return in the second row ahead of Donncha O’Callaghan. He joins fellow lock David Foley in the starting line-up.

There are three changes in the backs division with Cathal Sheridan coming in for Duncan Williams at scrum half and JJ Hanrahan will earn his 20th cap for Munster as he replaces the injured Ian Keatley at out-half.

The centre partnership of Ivan Dineen and former Cardiff Blue Casey Laulala remains intact, while Andrew Conway resumes on the right wing. 

Academy player Johnny Holland is named on the bench and could make his first RaboDirect PRO12 appearance for Munster.

The 22-year-old out-half plays his club rugby with Cork Constitution and featured in the SEAT Series against Gloucester and London Irish, but has yet to make his competitive bow.

The returning Denis Hurley is also named among the replacements after a spell on the sidelines with a knee injury.

Second row Ian Nagle is on the comeback trail too and although he has not been named in the Munster squad, he could feature for Cork Con in the Ulster Bank League this weekend.

MUNSTER (v Cardiff Blues): Felix Jones; Andrew Conway, Casey Laulala, Ivan Dineen, Johne Murphy; JJ Hanrahan, Cathal Sheridan; James Cronin, Damien Varley (capt), BJ Botha, David Foley, Billy Holland, David O’Callaghan, Sean Dougall, CJ Stander.

Replacements: Mike Sherry, David Kilcoyne, Stephen Archer, Donncha O’Callaghan, James Coughlan, Duncan Williams, Johnny Holland, Denis Hurley.