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Burke In Starting Line Up Against Munster
10 October 2006, 6:25 pm
Paul Burke will wear the number 10 shirt in a Leicester Tigers side that also includes Irishmen Geordan Murphy, Leo Cullen and Shane Jennings
Paul Burke will wear the number 10 shirt in a Leicester Tigers side that also includes Irishmen Geordan Murphy, Leo Cullen and Shane Jennings for the clash with Munster at Welford road on Sunday (3pm). There is some surprise that Burke gets the nod over Andrew Goode and that Julian White is only worthy of a place among the replacements.

Munster copleted their preparations today (Friday) in Thomond park and the squad will fly out of Shannon on Saturday morning scheduled to arrive at their hotel in the early afternoon.

It is expected that around 2400 will depart these shores to support the title holders as, not suprisingly, the full allocation of 15% of tickets have been snapped up by Munster supporters.

Meanwhile, following the win over Northampton Saints in the Guinness Premiership last weekend, Tigers head coach Pat Howard welcomes back Daryl Gibson, Martin Castrogiovanni, Tom Varndell and Paul Burke to his starting XV.

Harry Ellis and Seru Rabeni are also named on the bench on their comeback from injury.

Gibson sat out the win over Saints due to the one-foreigner rule in domestic league rugby, but two overseas players are permitted in the Heineken Cup.

Varndell returns after a short loan spell with Bedford and following his recovery from a knee injury.

Burke gets the nod at fly-half against his former club and prop Castrogiovanni regains his place after two weeks away with the Italian national squad for the World Cup qualifying wins over Portugal and Russia.

On the decision to go for Varndell and Burke, Howard said: It is very tough on John Murphy, who has had three good games for us in the last few weeks, but Tom has recovered from a slight knee injury and at his best he offers good finishing power.

Burkey has had three solid games. The competition is very tough at number 10 but he has won through for this game.

And Howard is also delighted to have England scrum-half Ellis and Fiji s Rabeni back in the frame after injury.

It is tough on other guys but it is a competitive squad and it is great to have them back, he said. "When we put the side to the guys, there were obviously a lot of very disappointed players and a lot of very happy ones as well. For the Irish lads, it s obviously got an added bit of spice. I understand the elation or disappointment of those players and it s something we as coaches and the lads as players have to deal with."

Munster: Shaun Payne; John Kelly, Barry Murphy, Trevor Halstead, Ian Dowling; Ronan O'Gara, Peter Stringer; Marcus Horan, Frank Sheahan, John Hayes; Donncha O'Callaghan, Paul O'Connell capt; Denis Leamy, David Wallace, Anthony Foley

Replacements: Andy Kyriacou, Federico Pucciariello, Mick O'Driscoll, Alan Quinlan, Tomas O'Leary, Jeremy Manning, Lifiemi Mafi.

Leicester Tigers: Sam Vesty; Geordan Murphy, Ollie Smith, Daryl Gibson, Tom Varndell; Paul Burke, Scott Bemand; Marcos Ayerza, George Chuter, Martin Castrogiovanni; Leo Cullen, Ben Kay; Louis Deacon, Lewis Moody, Martin Corry capt

Replacements: James Buckland, Julian White, Jordan Crane, Shane Jennings, Harry Ellis, Andy Goode, Seru Rabeni

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