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O’Donnell Included On The Bench For Munster

O’Donnell Included On The Bench For Munster

Munster head coach Anthony Foley has made four changes for Sunday’s GUINNESS PRO12 derby encounter with Leinster at Thomond Park (kick-off 5.15pm). The province are boosted by the return of Tommy O’Donnell who is listed among the replacements.

After sustaining a traumatic injury in the form of a hip dislocation during Ireland’s Rugby World Cup warm-up game against Wales in August, Tommy O’Donnell makes an earlier than expected return to the matchday squad this weekend thanks to the efforts of Munster’s medical and fitness staff, and the player’s exceptional commitment to his rehabilitation programme.

After successfully completing his return-to-play protocols for concussion, BJ Botha also returns this week and starts next to Mike Sherry and James Cronin in the front row.

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Donnacha Ryan is back in the second row after last week’s late withdrawal in Leicester due to illness, joining fellow Tipperary lock Dave Foley. The final change in the forwards sees Jack O’Donoghue selected at openside flanker alongside blindside Robin Copeland and number 8 captain CJ Stander.

There is only one change to the back-line with Tyler Bleyendaal making his second start for the province in the number 10 jersey. The New Zealander will link up with Conor Murray at half-back.

The centre pairing of Denis Hurley and Francis Saili, and the back-three of Simon Zebo, Keith Earls and Andrew Conway, all remain in place.

On the injury front, Dave O’Callaghan met with the specialist yesterday for an adductor injury and it has been confirmed that the young back rower will be sidelined for approximately six weeks.

Over 22,000 tickets have been sold at this stage for the Munster v Leinster clash – tickets are available to buy online here.

Tickets will also be available to purchase from the stadium on Sunday, from midday at the Ticketmaster van in the Fan Zone Plaza, and from 3.15pm at the West Stand ticket booth. Ticket prices start from €;20 for adults, €;60 for families or €;10 for students and juniors.

The round 10 match is Munster’s annual Charity Match, with the men in red supporting their official charities for the season – Children’s Medical & Research Foundation Crumlin and HEADWAY. One euro from every match programme sold will be donated to the charities, so your support is greatly welcome. The charities will also be presented with signed Munster jerseys at half-time by members of the squad.

Full matchday info and travel information including Irish Rail details, please click here.

MUNSTER (v Leinster): Andrew Conway; Keith Earls, Francis Saili, Denis Hurley, Simon Zebo; Tyler Bleyendaal, Conor Murray; James Cronin, Mike Sherry, BJ Botha, Dave Foley, Donnacha Ryan, Robin Copeland, Jack O’Donoghue, CJ Stander (capt).

Replacements: Niall Scannell, Dave Kilcoyne, John Ryan, Billy Holland, Tommy O’Donnell, Tomas O’Leary, Rory Scannell, Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino.