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Williams Set For First European Start

Williams Set For First European Start

Munster head coach Anthony Foley has named his team for Saturday’s European Champions Cup showdown with Saracens at Allianz Park (kick-off 1pm). He has made eight changes to the side that started against Zebre last weekend.

After meeting with the specialist for a neck injury sustained against Zebre, Conor Murray was ruled out of selection for this weekend’s round 5 encounter and the scrum half will be reviewed further after the weekend.

With Murray not available, Duncan Williams comes in to make his first European start, while Dave O’Callaghan and Keith Earls are named in a European matchday squad for the first time this season.

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Further changes to the back-line see Denis Hurley return to partner Pat Howard in midfield and Andrew Conway rejoins Simon Zebo and Felix Jones in the back-three.

A clean sweep of changes are made in the front row with James Cronin (pictured below) and BJ Botha packing down either side of Duncan Casey at loosehead and tighthead prop respectively.

In the second row Paul O’Connell returns to partner Dave Foley, while in the back row captain Peter O’Mahony reverts back to the blindside flanker berth, Tommy O’Donnell comes in at openside and CJ Stander continues at number 8.

Should they make an appearance from the bench this weekend, Earls will win his 100th cap for the province and Ronan O’Mahony will make his European debut.

MUNSTER (v Saracens): Felix Jones; Andrew Conway, Pat Howard, Denis Hurley, Simon Zebo; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; James Cronin, Duncan Casey, BJ Botha, Dave Foley, Paul O’Connell, Peter O’Mahony (capt), Tommy O’Donnell, CJ Stander.

Replacements: Eusebio Guinazu, John Ryan, Stephen Archer, Billy Holland, Dave O’Callaghan, Ronan O’Mahony, JJ Hanrahan, Keith Earls.