O'Callaghan (23) was called into the squad as cover for Gary Longwell who was troubled by a hamstring. The injury failed to respond to treatment in time thus giving the talented O'Callaghan the opportunity to move ever so much closer to that first cap.
With Mick Galwey taking something of a back-seat role in the Munster set-up this season, O'Callaghan has been outstanding as partner first for Paul O'Connel and then Mick O'Driscoll and he has also performed impressively for Ireland A.
Another Munster man who gains promotion is Alan Quinlan who wins a place in the starting line-up in place of Victor Costello who has been forced to retire from the squad with a calf muscle injury.
If there is one player who is entitled to feel disappointed it's John Kelly who has been dispatched to the bench with Justin Bishop selected in his place on the right wing. Quite how Kelly finds himself in this situation is a little difficult to understand. Against France he was mainly confined to a defensive role and he did that as well if not better than some of his back colleagues yet now finds himeself warming the bench for reasons that coach Eddie O'Sullivan explained as "a horses for courses scenario" admitting that it was a very tight call.
15. Geordan Murphy (Leicester) 14. Justin Bishop (London Irish) 13. Brian O'Driscoll (Blackrock College/Leinster) - capt 12. Kevin Maggs (Bath) 11. Denis Hickie (St Mary's College/Leinster) 10. David Humphreys (Dungannon/Ulster) 9. Peter Stringer (Shannon/Munster) 1. Marcus Horan (Shannon/Munster) 2. Shane Byrne (Blackrock College/Leinster) 3. John Hayes (Shannon/Munster) 4. Leo Cullen (Blackrock College/Leinster) 5. Malcolm O'Kelly (St Mary's College/Leinster) 6. Alan Quinlan (Shannon/Munster) 7. Keith Gleeson (St Mary's College/Leinster) 8. Anthony Foley (Shannon/Munster). Replacements. 16. Frank Sheahan (Cork Constitution/Munster) 17. Justin Fitzpatrick (Dungannon/Ulster) 18. Donncha O'Callaghan (Cork Constitution/Munster) 19. Eric Miller (Terenure College/Leinster) 20. Guy Easterby (Llanelli) 21. Ronan O'Gara (Cork Constitution/Munster) 22. John Kelly (Cork Constitution/Munster).