Munster coach Declan Kidney brings Frank Sheahan, Alan Quinlan and Anthony Horgan into the Munster side for their first start of the season for Saturday's Celtic League clash with Neath-Swansea Ospreys at Musgrave Park.
Sheahan's inclusion at number 2 and Quinlan at blindside wing-forward affords Jerry Flannery and Stephen Keogh a break after three games in a row while Horgan, who was ruled out through injury for consideration for the Borders game, makes an opportune return to action for his first game since the June internationals.
Horgan effectively takes over from David Wallace who reverts to his more familiar role of open-side flanker following a run on the wing against Borders. Speaking of that performance, Kidney said, Now is the time to find out what options are available to us, seeing what players are capable of, and match situations are really the only way to gauge that.
"David was asked to play there (wing) for the good of the squad. And we must recognise his selfless attitude. I was very happy with the way he played in what was an unfamiliar position. But he is a very very good wing-forward and it s only fair that he gets time in that position.
One of three positional changes from the Borders game sees Denis Leamy selected in the centre with Trevor Halstead.
Again it s a case of examining options, Kidney explained, and with Denis it s also a case of him getting badly needed game-time. Last year in a three month period at the end of the season, Denis only started one game for us. Like David (Wallace) last week, I think it s more beneficial to have Denis playing rather than sitting on the bench.
Leamy himself is more than happy to trade the back-row for the back-line. I d play anywhere for Munster. I have played in the backs at underage so I m familiar enough with it, and I ve been training there all week so I m happy to give it a go. Looking forward to it really.
For their part Neath-Swansea Ospreys have decided to wait until match day before announcing their starting line-up. Their 23 strong is
Backs (10): Stefan Terblanche, Richard Mustoe, Sonny Parker, Leigh Davies, Johnny Vaughton, David Bishop, Shaun Connor, Jason Spice, Matthew Jones, Richard Rees.
Forwards (13): Duncan Jones, Barry Williams (Captain), Adam Jones, Paul James, Huw Bennett, Andrew Millward, Lyndon Bateman, Ian Evans, Brent Cockbain, Alan Wyn-Jones, Lee Beach, Steve Tandy, Andrew Lloyd.
Comment from Head Coach, Lyn Jones: Munster at Musgrave Park is one of the toughest fixtures in the calendar. To go there and get a win is quite a task as they are a well drilled side with a strong coach in Declan Kidney. They are strong across the park and it will be a huge challenge to go there with our young Ospreys side. Our set piece will have to be spot on and our key decision makers tactical awareness will have to be at its best. It is early in the season and all teams in the league are going to take a few games to find their feet, but fixtures like this are sure to excite both players and supporters"
David Changleng (SRU). Touch Judges: A MacKay (IRFU), M Haycock