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Munster Include Ryan For Perpignan Rematch

Munster Include Ryan For Perpignan Rematch

Donnacha Ryan is one of four players drafted into Rob Penney’s Munter team for Saturday’s crucial Heineken Cup round 4 clash with Perpignan (kick-off 4.40pm local time/3.40pm Irish time).

Donnacha Ryan has not featured for Munster since injuring knee ligaments against Gloucester in October, but makes his return ahead of schedule to partner Paul O’Connell in the second row.

There is only one change in the backs as scrum half Cathal Sheridan gets the nod ahead of Duncan Williams to replace the injured Conor Murray after impressing in last weekend’s bonus point win.

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Head coach Rob Penney has continued his rotation policy with two changes in the front row. James Cronin and South African BJ Botha replace Ireland internationals David Kilcoyne and Stephen Archer.

Damien Varley keeps his place in the side with Shannon hooker Duncan Casey hoping to make his second Munster appearance off the bench after his cameo last time out.

The back row combination of captain Peter O’Mahony, Sean Dougall and James Coughlan remains intact.

Out-half Ian Keatley, as expected, has recovered from the dead leg he sustained during the round 3 game to start in the number 10 jersey again.

Outside of Keatley, James Downey and Casey Laulala retain their places in the centre with the back-three of Johne Murphy, last Sunday’s man-of-the-match Keith Earls and Felix Jones unchanged.

The notable inclusion on the replacements bench is last season’s Player of the Year, Tommy O’Donnell. O’Donnell made his comeback from injury off the bench for Munster ‘A’ last weekend after suffering a hyper-extension of his knee against Zebre in September.

MUNSTER (v Perpignan): Felix Jones; Keith Earls, Casey Laulala, James Downey, Johne Murphy; Ian Keatley, Cathal Sheridan; James Cronin, Damien Varley, BJ Botha, Donnacha Ryan, Paul O’Connell, Peter O’Mahony (capt), Sean Dougall, James Coughlan.

Replacements: Duncan Casey, David Kilcoyne, Stephen Archer, Donncha O’Callaghan, Tommy O’Donnell, Duncan Williams, JJ Hanrahan, Denis Hurley.