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Munster Make Wholesale Changes For Festive Derby

Munster Make Wholesale Changes For Festive Derby

Munster head coach Rob Penney continues with the squad rotation this week as JJ Hanrahan is the only survivor from last weekend to start in Friday night’s interprovincial derby match against Connacht at Thomond Park (kick-off 7.15pm).

Last Saturday’s front row replacements, Niall Scannell and John Ryan, move in to the starting line-up to join James Cronin for the round 11 clash, with Scannell making his first start at this level after making his debut off the bench against the Scarlets.

Donncha O’Callaghan also slots back into the second row next to David Foley, while Paddy Butler marks his return from injury by donning the number 6 jersey, forming the back row with Sean Dougall and number 8 James Coughlan who captains the province for the second time this season.

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JJ Hanrahan is joined at half-back by Duncan Williams, with Gerry Hurley named in the replacements for the first time this season.

Cork Constitution clubman Hurley is in line to make a return to league action against the same opposition he last played against exactly six years ago.

Ronan O’Mahony, who scored a last-gasp match-winning try against the Scarlets, is named in a new-look back-line with Johne Murphy joining James Downey in the centre for the first time this season.

Munster v Connacht tickets will be on sale on matchday from 9am from the mobile ticket office at Hassett’s Cross and from the West Stand ticket booth from 5.15pm.

Ticket prices: Cat A Stand €;40, Cat B Stand €;30, Cat B Junior Stand €;10, Terrace €;20, Junior Terrace €;7, Family Terrace Pack €;40 (two adults and two juniors). *Junior – Under 16 years.

MUNSTER (v Connacht): Felix Jones; Keith Earls, Johne Murphy, James Downey, Ronan O’Mahony; JJ Hanrahan, Duncan Williams; James Cronin, Niall Scannell, John Ryan, Donncha O’Callaghan, David Foley, Paddy Butler, Sean Dougall, James Coughlan (capt).

Replacements: Damien Varley, Alan Cotter, Stephen Archer, Billy Holland, CJ Stander, Gerry Hurley, Johnny Holland, Denis Hurley.