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Ian Dowling
Dowling Back For Munster.
4 April 2009, 9:32 am
By Pat Geraghty
Ian Dowling returns to the Munster starting XV for the first time since the game against Montauban in January, for tomorrow's Magners League clash with Leinster at Thomond Park Stadium (7.30pm).
Dowling subsequently injured a hamstring in training and according to Munster fitness staff makes it back into the side thanks to his 'superb application in his rehab of the injury'. He comes back into the side at the immediate expense of Barry Murphy who played in the game against Glasgow but now slips to the bench while Paul Warwick is named at full-back with Denis Hurley listed among the replacements.

Up front there is a complete change in the front five with the return of the internationals but in the back row, Alan Quinlan and Niall Ronan, both superb in the win over Glasgow, retain their places with David Wallace anchoring the scrum in the absence of the injured Denis Leamy.

Speaking after training in Musgrave Park yesterday, Quinlan who will be winning his 173rd Munster cap said, "You always look forward to these type of games, against the other Irish sides, local derbies if you like that have a unique atmosphere and this one probably caps 'em all. I know they (Leinster) will be looking to make up for us beating them earlier but even still games against them are as tough as anything we play during the season."

"I think it's going to be a great occasion," he continued, " I hope the weather stays the way it is and if it does I think people are going to see a cracking game of rugby played by two good sides."

Meanwhile, there was no mention of Brian O'Driscoll when Leinster named a side this morning that sees Girvan Dempsey preferred to Rob Kearney at full back and Shane Horgan paired with Gordon D'Arcy in midfield in the absence of the Ireland captain. Former Munster players Stephen Keogh and Trevor Hogan are named on an extended bench.

Munster: P Warwick; D Howlett, K Earls, L Mafi, I Dowling; R O'Gara, T O'Leary; M Horan, J Flannery, J Hayes; D O'Callaghan, P O'Connell capt; A Quinlan, N Ronan, D Wallace. Replacements: D Fogarty, T Buckley, M O'Driscoll, D Ryan, P Stringer, B Murphy, D Hurley.

Leinster: G Dempsey; I Nacewa, G D'Arcy, S Horgan, R Kearney; F Contepomi, C Whitaker; C Healy, B Jackman, S Wright; L Cullen capt, M O'Kelly; R Elsom, S Jennings, J Heaslip. Replacements (from): J Fogarty, O le Roux, R McCormack, T Hogan, C Jowitt, S O'Brien, C Keane, J Sexton, S Keogh

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