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Munster Are Much-Changed For Edinburgh Trip

Munster Are Much-Changed For Edinburgh Trip

The Munster team to face Edinburgh in Saturday’s RaboDirect PRO12 encounter at Meggetland (kick-off 5pm) shows 11 changes to the side that started against Toulon last weekend.

After the Ospreys’ defeat to Zebre last night Munster are now guaranteed a RaboDirect PRO12 semi-final place along with Leinster and Glasgow Warriors.

But Rob Penney’s men will continue to battle for home advantage in the play-offs with the Edinburgh challenge up first this weekend.

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A new-look front row sees James Cronin and John Ryan pack down either side of hooker Duncan Casey. Having featured last weekend against Toulon, Cronin makes his first start for the province since the Benetton Treviso game in March.

The familiar duo of Paul O’Connell and Donncha O’Callaghan combine in the second row, while Tommy O’Donnell and Paddy Butler return to the back row alongside blindside flanker CJ Stander.

Last time out in the league Butler impressed with a man-of-the-match performance against Connacht, securing the bonus point try at the Sportsground.

After an excellent rehab on a groin injury, JJ Hanrahan suffered no ill-effects from the last 20 minutes of the Heineken Cup semi-final in Marseille and starts alongside Conor Murray in the half-backs.

Denis Hurley and Johne Murphy, both of whom signed new contracts with Munster this week, form the centre partnership. Meanwhile, Simon Zebo switches to full-back with Andrew Conway and Gerhard van den Heever introduced on the wings.

The province take a strong bench to Scotland that includes five of last weekend’s starting team, and Luke O’Dea is named in his first senior squad of the season after overcoming a string of injuries.

MUNSTER (v Edinburgh): Simon Zebo, Gerhard van den Heever, Johne Murphy, Denis Hurley, Andrew Conway; JJ Hanrahan, Conor Murray; James Cronin, Duncan Casey, John Ryan, Donncha O’Callaghan, Paul O’Connell (capt), CJ Stander, Tommy O’Donnell, Paddy Butler.

Replacements: Damien Varley, David Kilcoyne, Alan Cotter, David Foley, James Coughlan, Duncan Williams, Ian Keatley, Luke O’Dea.