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Hurley Leads Munster For Cardiff Clash

Hurley Leads Munster For Cardiff Clash

Head coach Anthony Foley has named a strong Munstr team to face Cardiff Blues in Cork on Saturday (kick-off 7.35pm), including Denis Hurley as captain and the Ireland duo of Ian Keatley and Keith Earls.

Round 14 of the GUINNESS PRO12 sees Munster play their first game at the newly-redeveloped Irish Independent Park.

Currently in his ninth season with Munster, Denis Hurley signed a one-year contract extension last month that will see him remain with the province until June 2016. The Cork man captains the side for the first time on his 145th appearance.

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Meanwhile, Academy player Jack O’Donoghue will make his first senior start for the province. John Ryan and BJ Botha start on either side of Eusebio Guinazu in the front row. Botha is set to make his 90th appearance in the red of Munster, while the versatile Guinazu makes his first start as hooker.

The experienced local duo of Donncha O’Callaghan and Billy Holland make up the second row with blindside Sean Dougall and openside Dave O’Callaghan joining O’Donoghue in the back row.

Having already made two PRO12 appearances this season – against Zebre and the Ospreys – young number 8 O’Donoghue penned a three-year deal last month which will see him advance to development status for the 2015/16 season and full contract status from 2016/17.

Following his involvement in last weekend’s Six Nations victory over Italy, Ian Keatley has been made available to the province this weekend and will partner Duncan Williams at half-back.

Keith Earls is another international representative available for selection and the Limerick native will join skipper Hurley in the midfield. JJ Hanrahan starts at full-back for the third time this season with Ronan O’Mahony and Andrew Conway on the left and right wing respectively.

After successfully rehabbing a knee injury sustained against Clermont Auvergne at Thomond Park in December, Dave Kilcoyne is named among the replacements, as are Academy centre Rory Scannell and Garryowen scrum half Neil Cronin, both of whom are in contention to make their second senior appearances for Munster this weekend.

Tickets, priced from €;15, can be purchased online by clicking here, at the Munster Rugby Ticket Offices at Irish Independent Park and Thomond Park, or by calling 0818 719 300.

The Ireland v France Six Nations match will be televised on the big screen before kick-off so you will not miss a second of the action – both international and provincial!

MUNSTER (v Cardiff Blues): JJ Hanrahan; Andrew Conway, Keith Earls, Denis Hurley (capt), Ronan O’Mahony; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; John Ryan, Eusebio Guinazu, BJ Botha, Donncha O’Callaghan, Billy Holland, Sean Dougall, Dave O’Callaghan, Jack O’Donoghue.

Replacements: Niall Scannell, Dave Kilcoyne, Stephen Archer, Shane Buckley, Paddy Butler, Neil Cronin, Rory Scannell, Ivan Dineen.