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Munster Make Five Changes For Interpro Derby

Munster Make Five Changes For Interpro Derby

Bolstered by a number of returning internationals, Anthony Foley has named a strong Munster squad to face Ulster in Friday’s GUINNESS PRO12 derby clash at Thomond Park (kick-off 7.35pm).

There are five personnel changes to the starting line-up that earned a bonus point victory over the Dragons last weekend, with South African centre Pat Howard set to make his first start for the province.

One change in the front row sees BJ Botha promoted from the bench to start at tighthead prop alongside hooker Duncan Casey and loosehead John Ryan.

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Donncha O’Callaghan will once again captain the side and partner Billy Holland in the second row. In the back row, recent Ireland debutant Robin Copeland moves to blindside flanker with Paddy Butler switching to openside, while CJ Stander comes back into the team at number 8.

Duncan Williams is another returning player at scrum half alongside Ian Keatley. Having made his debut from the bench last weekend, Howard will make his first start for the province as he lines up outside Denis Hurley in the midfield.

In the back three, Gerhard van den Heever comes in on the right wing with Ronan O’Mahony on the opposite flank, while JJ Hanrahan makes his second consecutive start at full-back.

Three returning internationals – Dave Kilcoyne, Tommy O’Donnell and Felix Jones – are named on the bench. As Cathal Sheridan is to undergo further investigation on a forearm injury picked up in the Dragons game, in-form Garryowen scrum half Neil Cronin (pictured below) is included among the replacements.

Match tickets from just €;7 for juniors and €;23 for adults can be purchased online here, at the Munster Rugby Ticket Offices in Musgrave Park and Thomond Park, or by calling 0818 719 300.

MUNSTER (v Ulster): JJ Hanrahan; Gerhard van den Heever, Pat Howard, Denis Hurley, Ronan O’Mahony; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; John Ryan, Duncan Casey, BJ Botha, Donncha O’Callaghan (capt), Billy Holland, Robin Copeland, Paddy Butler, CJ Stander

Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, Dave Kilcoyne, Stephen Archer, Tommy O’Donnell, Sean Dougall, Neil Cronin, Andrew Smith, Felix Jones.