Munster head coach Anthony Foley has named a strong team to face Edinburgh at BT Murrayfield on Saturday (kick-off 7.30pm), including the final trio of returning internationals – Paul O’Connell, Peter O’Mahony and Conor Murray – in the starting line-up.
Anthony Foley has made six changes to the side that defeated Connacht at Thomond Park just under a fortnight ago. An all-new front row sees Dave Kilcoyne and BJ Botha pack down either side of Duncan Casey who makes his first start at hooker since the end of January.
Ireland captain Paul O’Connell returns to partner the in-form Billy Holland in the second row, while the inclusion of Munster skipper Peter O’Mahony (pictured below) at blindside flanker is the only change to the back row.
Tommy O’Donnell, who starts at openside in a back row completed by number 8 CJ Stander, draws ever closer to the 100-cap milestone. The Tipperary man will win his 99th cap for the province this weekend.
Scrum half Conor Murray resumes his partnership with Ian Keatley, while the rest of the back-line is unchanged with Denis Hurley, Andrew Smith, Simon Zebo, Keith Earls and Felix Jones all retaining their starting positions.
James Cronin is included among the replacements for the first time since picking up a knee injury on his RBS 6 Nations debut against Italy in February. Donnacha Ryan also takes his place on the bench having completed his return-to-play protocols following a concussion sustained while playing for Munster ‘A’ against Ulster Ravens last month.
Meanwhile, there is good news regarding the fitness of Cathal Sheridan this week. After almost five months on the sidelines with a forearm injury, the scrum half is set to get some game-time with UL Bohemians in the Ulster Bank League on Saturday.
MUNSTER (v Edinburgh): Felix Jones; Keith Earls, Andrew Smith, Denis Hurley, Simon Zebo; Ian Keatley, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Duncan Casey, BJ Botha, Billy Holland, Paul O’Connell, Peter O’Mahony (capt), Tommy O’Donnell, CJ Stander.
Replacements: Eusebio Guinazu, James Cronin, Stephen Archer, Donnacha Ryan, Dave O’Callaghan, Duncan Williams, JJ Hanrahan, Ronan O’Mahony.