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Jones Takes On Captaincy Role For Munster

Jones Takes On Captaincy Role For Munster

Munster head coach Anthony Foley has named his team for the sold-out St. Stephen’s Day clash with Leinster at Thomond Park (kick-off 5pm). He has made eight changes to the side that lost to Glasgow Warriors.

The returning trio of Duncan Casey, CJ Stander and Tommy O’Donnell all start this week, with hooker Casey joining John Ryan and Stephen Archer in the front row.

Munster’s most-capped player, Donncha O’Callaghan, is promoted from the bench and starts next to Billy Holland in the second row, while Robin Copeland retains his starting place at number 8 in a back row completed by Stander and O’Donnell.

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Duncan Williams and Ian Keatley renew their half-back pairing as fellow backs Denis Hurley, Pat Howard and Andrew Conway are retained. Ronan O’Mahony comes in on the left wing and Felix Jones starts at full-back as he captains the side for the third time.

Among the replacements, Garryowen scrum half Neil Cronin (pictured above) is included in his second PRO12 matchday squad and is in line to make his debut if sprung from the bench.

Those not available for selection this week through the national player management programme included Paul O’Connell, the province’s regular captain Peter O’Mahony, Conor Murray and Simon Zebo.

MUNSTER (v Leinster): Felix Jones (capt); Andrew Conway, Pat Howard, Denis Hurley, Ronan O’Mahony; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; John Ryan, Duncan Casey, Stephen Archer, Donncha O’Callaghan, Billy Holland, CJ Stander, Tommy O’Donnell, Robin Copeland.

Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, Eusebio Guinazu, BJ Botha, Dave O’Callaghan, Paddy Butler, Neil Cronin, JJ Hanrahan, Johne Murphy.