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Celtic League – Kelly Back For Munster

17th February 2005 By Munster Rugby

Celtic League – Kelly Back For Munster

John Kelly returns to competitive action for Munster for the first time since late October having finally shaken off the injury picked up training with the national squad.

John Kelly returns to competitive action for Munster for the first time since late October having finally shaken off the injury picked up training with the national squad.

John Kelly returns to competitive action for Munster for the first time since late October having finally shaken off the injury picked up training with the national squad.

He comes into a backline that sees regular full-back Christian Cullen rested with Shaun Payne at full back and James Storey partnering Jason Holland in midfield.

Up front, David Wallace is named at number 8 in a back-row that includes Alan Quinlan and Denis Leamy. Also included in the pack are Marcus Horan, Frank Sheahan and Donncha O Callaghan, the trio who came off the bench last weekend in the game against Scotland.

With internationals, Ronan O Gara, Peter Stringer, John Hayes, Paul O Connell, and Anthony Foley unavailable and David Pusey and Mossy Lawlor injured, Munster coach Alan Gaffney takes the opportunity to get valuable game time into the likes of Holland, outstanding against Llanelli, Kelly, Storey, Wallace, Eoin Reddan and Paul Burke in this the fourth last game before the Heineken Cup quarter final.

However every bit as important for Gaffney will be the need for his Munster side to get back to winning ways following that defeat in Stradey Park.

Munster currently lie in second place in the table, seven points adrift of Ospreys but with a game in hand. The Ospreys are home to The Borders on Saturday and the formbook points to a five point return for the pacesetters.

In the event that Ospreys heap further misery on the Scottish side, then nothing short of maximum points will suffice in Thomond. And that will require a focussed clinical performance from the home side against a Glasgow outfit who were desperately unlucky not to beat Ospreys in Hughenden three weeks ago.

Munster: Shaun Payne; John Kelly, James Storey, Jason Holland, Anthony Horgan; Paul Burke, Eoin Reddan; Marcus Horan, Frank Sheahan, Gordon McIlwham; Trevor Hogan, Donncha O Callaghan; Alan Quinlan, Denis Leamy, David Wallace. Replacements: Eugene McGovern, Jerry Flannery, Tom Bowman, Jim Williams, Mike Prendergast, Rob Henderson, Paul Devlin.

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