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O’Connell Returns As One Of Three Munster Changes

O’Connell Returns As One Of Three Munster Changes

Munster head coach Anthony Foley has made three changes to his starting line-up for Saturday’s GUINNESS PRO12 battle with fellow semi-finalists Ulster at Kingspan Stadium (kick-off 2.40pm).

As expected, one of those changes sees Paul O’Connell return for the penultimate round as he partners Donnacha Ryan in the second row, with the Tipperary lock making his second start of the season.

It is also the first time that O’Connell and Ryan have started in the second row together since the province’s away Heineken Cup clash with Perpignan in December 2013.

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The second change to the forwards sees hooker Eusebio Guinazu trading places with Duncan Casey this week, as the Argentinian international packs down in the front row with Dave Kilcoyne and Stephen Archer. The unchanged back row of captain Peter O’Mahony, Tommy O’Donnell and CJ Stander completes the pack.

Denis Hurley is the only new inclusion in the back-line as he rejoins Andrew Smith in the centre with Simon Zebo, Keith Earls and Felix Jones continuing as the starting back-three.

Finally, with the half-back pairing of Conor Murray and Ian Keatley remaining in place, Keatley will make his 99th appearance for the province on Saturday.

MUNSTER (v Ulster): Felix Jones; Keith Earls, Andrew Smith, Denis Hurley, Simon Zebo; Ian Keatley, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Eusebio Guinazu, Stephen Archer, Donnacha Ryan, Paul O’Connell, Peter O’Mahony (capt), Tommy O’Donnell, CJ Stander.

Replacements: Duncan Casey, John Ryan, BJ Botha, Billy Holland, Jack O’Donoghue, Duncan Williams, JJ Hanrahan, Ronan O’Mahony.