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Munster Make Nine Changes

Munster Make Nine Changes

James Coughlan will captain a strong Munster side in Saturday’s RaboDirect PRO12 game against Cardiff Blues at Thomond Park (kick-off 7.15pm).

There are nine changes to the team that beat Edinburgh three weeks ago with two players making their Thomond Park debuts.

South African flyer Gerhard van den Heever and back rower Barry O’Mahony start their first games for Munster at the famous Limerick venue.

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Simon Zebo comes in at full-back for his first start since injuring his foot in October, with Johne Murphy keeping his place on the left wing.

Denis Hurley comes back into the side to partner Casey Laulala in the centre with Duncan Williams and JJ Hanrahan returning to form the half-back combination.

David Kilcoyne, Duncan Casey and Stephen Archer make up the front row with Donncha O’Callaghan and David Foley in the second row.

The aforementioned O’Mahony is joined in the back row by CJ Stander and captain James Coughlan to complete the province’s starting line-up.

Sean Dougall and Cathal Sheridan are included among the replacements after recovering from recent knocks, while Ian Keatley provides cover on the bench after featuring for the O2 Ireland Wolfhounds two weeks ago.

Young Munster’s Ger Slattery, who was originally due to play for the Ireland Club team on Friday, will provide the front row cover alongside James Cronin and John Ryan.

The experienced Billy Holland and winger Andrew Conway are also hoping to have an impact off the bench. However, young hooker Niall Scannell misses out after picking up an elbow injury during yesterday’s training session.

Munster v Cardiff Blues tickets will be available to buy on the night. Ticket prices are as follows: Junior (16 years and under) Terrace €;7, Terrace €;20, Terrace Family Pack €;40 (two adults & two juniors), Cat B Junior €;10, Category B Adult €;30, Category A €;40.

MUNSTER (v Cardiff Blues): Simon Zebo; Gerhard van den Heever, Casey Laulala, Denis Hurley, Johne Murphy; JJ Hanrahan, Duncan Williams; David Kilcoyne, Duncan Casey, Stephen Archer, Donncha O’Callaghan, David Foley, CJ Stander, Barry O’Mahony, James Coughlan (capt).

Replacements: Ger Slattery, James Cronin, John Ryan, Billy Holland, Sean Dougall, Cathal Sheridan, Ian Keatley, Andrew Conway.