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Zebo And O’Donnell Among The Munster Starters

Zebo And O’Donnell Among The Munster Starters

Munster head coach Anthony Foley has named a strong selection to face Connacht in round 18 of the GUINNESS PRO12 at Thomond Park on Saturday (kick-off 5.15pm). Centre Denis Hurley captains a side which includes a number of returning Ireland internationals.

In total, there are five changes to the team that lost to the Ospreys in the last round. John Ryan and Stephen Archer come into the front row to start either side of Eusebio Guinazu, with Donncha O’Callaghan and Billy Holland continuing in the second row.
The return of Tommy O’Donnell at openside flanker is the only change to the back row with Dave O’Callaghan and CJ Stander retained at blindside and number 8 respectively.
Duncan Williams and Ian Keatley again team up in the half-backs, while Andrew Smith makes his first start since returning from injury, doing so outside stand-in skipper Denis Hurley in midfield.
The return of Smith sees Keith Earls move to the right wing with Simon Zebo returning on the opposite flank. Felix Jones completes the back-three (pictured below), reverting to full-back for this weekend’s interprovincial clash.

Having successfully rehabbed an ankle injury sustained during training in February, hooker Duncan Casey is named among the replacements.

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Over 17,000 tickets have been sold for Saturday’s game and tickets will be available to purchase on the day. Adult tickets start from €;20 with Juniors priced from €;7. You can purchase tickets online from Ticketmaster.ie, from the Munster Rugby Ticket Offices in Thomond Park or Irish Independent Park, or by calling 0818 719 300.

Both the Men’s and Women’s RBS 6 Nations trophies will be presented at half-time at Thomond Park with victorious Ireland captains Paul O’Connell and Niamh Briggs both in attendance.
MUNSTER (v Connacht): Felix Jones; Keith Earls, Andrew Smith, Denis Hurley (capt), Simon Zebo; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; John Ryan, Eusebio Guinazu, Stephen Archer, Donncha O’Callaghan, Billy Holland; Dave O’Callaghan, Tommy O’Donnell, CJ Stander.
Replacements: Duncan Casey, Dave Kilcoyne, BJ Botha, Paddy Butler, Jack O’Donoghue, Neil Cronin, JJ Hanrahan, Ronan O’Mahony.