Bolstered by a number of returning internationals, Anthony Foley has named a strong matchday squad to face Ulster tomorrow night at Thomond Park in Round 9 of the Guinness PRO12, ko 7.35pm.
Five personnel changes are made to the starting line-up that earned a bonus point victory last weekend against Newport Gwent Dragons at Rodney Parade, with centre Pat Howard set to make his first start for the province.
One change in the front row see’s BJ Botha promoted from the bench to start at tighthead alongside hooker Duncan Casey and loosehead John Ryan.
Donncha O’Callaghan will once again captain the side and partner Billy Holland in the second row.
In the back row, Robin Copeland moves to 6 with Paddy Butler switching to openside, while CJ Standercomes back into the starting line up at 8.
Duncan Williams is another returning to the starting 15 at scrum half alongside Ian Keatley in the half backs.
Having made his debut from the bench last weekend, centre Pat Howard will make his first start for Munster as he lines up outside Denis Hurley in the midfield.
In the back three, Gerhard van den Heever comes in on the right wing with Ronan O’Mahony on the opposite flank, while JJ Hanrahan makes his second consecutive start at full-back.
Three returning internationals – Dave Kilcoyne, Tommy O’Donnell and Felix Jones – are named on the bench. As Cathal Sheridan is to undergo further investigation on a forearm injury picked up in the Dragons game, in-form Garryowen scrum half Neil Cronin is included amongst the replacements.
Munster: JJ Hanrahan, Gerhard van den Heever, Pat Howard, Denis Hurley, Ronan O’Mahony; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; John Ryan, Duncan Casey, BJ Botha; Donncha O’Callaghan – capt, Billy Holland; Robin Copeland, Paddy Butler, CJ Stander. Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, Dave Kilcoyne, Stephen Archer, Tommy O’Donnell, Sean Dougall, Neil Cronin, Andrew Smith, Felix Jones