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Selected Munster Side Includes Murray And Varley

Selected Munster Side Includes Murray And Varley

Head coach Rob Penney has made six changes to the side beaten by Ulster, with Conor Murray the most notable inclusion as Munster travel to Gloucester for a crucial Heineken Cup round 5 fixture on Saturday (kick-off 6pm).

Conor Murray is set to win his 50th cap in his first appearance since injuring his knee against Perpignan five weeks ago.

Hooker Damien Varley retains his place in the starting line-up despite limping off at Ravenhill with a foot injury, but it is not as bad as first feared and Varley is fit to start.

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Aside from returning scrum half Murray, there are three other changes in the backs with Keith Earls, Johne Murphy and James Downey all resuming behind the scrum.

Earls is back on the right wing after missing out last week with a bruised shoulder with Downey, who was sidelined with an irritated groin, returning to partner Casey Laulala in the centre.

Murphy comes into the side on the left wing with out-half Ian Keatley and full-back Felix Jones keeping their places in the side.

There are two changes in the forwards as BJ Botha and David Foley are drafted into the pack. It will be a a big day for Tipperary man Foley as it is the lock’s first appearance in the Heineken Cup.

Rob Penney has gone for an all-international front row with props David Kilcoyne and South African Botha either side of Varley.

Foley is included after impressing off the bench against Ulster last time out and he partners Ireland captain Paul O’Connell in the second row.

The back row remains unchanged with Munster skipper Peter O’Mahony, Tommy O’Donnell and James Coughlan in good form heading into the Kingsholm showdown.

Simon Zebo is named on the bench as he returns to the province’s matchday squad for the first time since cracking a bone in his foot against Edinburgh in October.

Donncha O’Callaghan and JJ Hanrahan are also among the replacements after overcoming their recent injury issues.

Meanwhile, Munster ‘A’ face Nottingham at St. Mary’s RFC in Corbally tonight and one change has been made to the side announced yesterday.

Darren Sweetnam replaces Andrew Conway on the right wing – the decision was made as a precautionary measure by the management and medical team after Conway felt tightness in his groin after training yesterday.

MUNSTER (v Gloucester): Felix Jones; Keith Earls, Casey Laulala, James Downey, Johne Murphy; Ian Keatley, Conor Murray; David Kilcoyne, Damien Varley, BJ Botha, David Foley, Paul O’Connell, Peter O’Mahony (capt), Tommy O’Donnell, James Coughlan.

Replacements: Duncan Casey, James Cronin, Stephen Archer, Donncha O’Callaghan, CJ Stander, Duncan Williams, JJ Hanrahan, Simon Zebo.

MUNSTER ‘A’ (v Nottingham): Ronan O’Mahony; Andrew Conway, Ivan Dineen, Denis Hurley, Gerhard van den Heever; Johnny Holland, Gerry Hurley; Alan Cotter, Ger Slattery, John Ryan, Ian Nagle, Darren O’Shea, David O’Callaghan, Barry O’Mahony (capt), Paddy Butler.

Replacements: Max Abbott, Brian Scott, Shane Buckley, Jack O’Donoghue, Brian Haugh, Rory Scannell, Cian Bohane.