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Munster Welcome Back Varley And O’Mahony

Munster Welcome Back Varley And O’Mahony

Munster head coach Anthony Foley has included Peter O’Mahony and Damien Varley on the bench for Saturday’s GUINNESS PRO12 derby match against Leinster at the Aviva Stadium (kick-off 6.30pm).

Anthony Foley has made a total of eight changes to the team that started last weekend’s defeat to the Ospreys at Thomond Park.

Having successfully rehabbed from a double shoulder procedure, squad captain Peter O’Mahony returns to a matchday panel for the first time since last April’s Heineken Cup quarter-final win over Toulouse.

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Hooker Damien Varley is also included after rehabbing an ongoing foot injury and he is in line to make his first appearance of the season.

In the front row James Cronin and Stephen Archer come in at loosehead and tighthead prop respectively, while Duncan Casey makes his fourth consecutive start at hooker.

David Foley also returns to the starting line-up and partners Paul O’Connell in the second row.

The back row sees CJ Stander make the positional switch to blindside flanker this week and he is joined by Tommy O’Donnell on the opposite flank and number 8 Robin Copeland who features in his first PRO12 interprovincial derby.

In the half-backs, Conor Murray and Ian Keatley remain in place from last weekend while Denis Hurley resumes his centre partnership with Andrew Smith who is promoted from the bench.

Andrew Conway retains his place on the right wing and is joined by Simon Zebo and captain Felix Jones in the back-three.

MUNSTER (v Leinster): Felix Jones (capt); Andrew Conway, Andrew Smith, Denis Hurley, Simon Zebo; Ian Keatley, Conor Murray; James Cronin, Duncan Casey, Stephen Archer, David Foley, Paul O’Connell, CJ Stander, Tommy O’Donnell, Robin Copeland.

Replacements: Damien Varley, David Kilcoyne, BJ Botha, Billy Holland, Peter O’Mahony, Duncan Williams, JJ Hanrahan, Gerhard van den Heever.