Three Changes For Munster
3rd October 2007 By Munster Rugby
Tony Buckley returns to a Munster side that shows three changes, from the one that started last time out, for the visit of League leaders Cardiff Blues to Musgrave Park tomorrow evening (7.30pm).
Buckley was to have started against the Dragons last weekend but was called up to the Ireland squad after Simon Best took ill and Darragh Hurley moved up from the bench with Federico Pucciariello switching to tight head to accomodate Hurley.
The other change to the pack sees James Coughlan in at number six in place of try scorer last week, Billy Holland while in the backs, Rua Tipoki gets to start this around while Lifeimi Mafi is named on the bench.
Also ncluded on the Munster bench are RWC squad members Frank Sheahan and Alan Quinlan who take over from Academy players Sean Cronin and Tommy O’Donnell.
The Blues got their campaign off to a real flier with home wins over Ospreys and Glasgow Warriors and an away victory in Rodney Parade before coming unstuck last week at home to Leinster.
They still lead the table by four points from Llanelli Scarlets and are six clear of Munster who have two games in hand but their coach Dai Young is hoping to make amends tomorow although identifying two Munster newcomers as threats to that ambition.
“We’ve watched Munster’s two opening games very closely, and they play a more expansive game with Paul Warwick at 10 than they do with Ronan O’Gara,” he said.
“Their new signing Rua Tipoki has added a cutting edge to them behind and is a real threat. Up front they play a very traditional Munster game, with driving line outs and a strong scrum, with a lot of pick and goes around the rucks.”
“We will be looking to bounce back from last Friday. It was disappointing that we had all the field position and all the possession and didn’t win the game. You’ve got to give Leinster credit, they won the game with their defence, we were creating opportunities but couldn’t finish them off,” concluded Young.
Munster: Shaun Payne; Ian Dowling, Kieran Lewis, Rua Tipoki, Anthony Horgan; Paul Warwick, Tomas O’Leary; Federico Pucciariello, Denis Fogarty, Tony Buckley; Mark Melbourne, Mick O’Driscoll; James Coughlan, Niall Ronan, Anthony Foley capt. Replacements: Frank Sheahan, Darragh Hurely, Alan Quinlan, Billy Holland, Gerry Hurley, Jeremy Manning, Lifeimi Mafi.
Cardiff Blues: Ben Blair; Jamie Roberts, Jamie Robinson, Dafydd Hewitt, Tom James; Nick Robinson, Richie Rees; John Yapp, Gareth Williams, Gary Powell; Bradley Davies, Robert Sidoli; Scott Morgan, Robin Sowden-Taylor, Xavier Rush (c)
Replacements: Scott Roberts, Ross Johnson, Deiniol Jones, Ben White, Jason Spice, Nick Macleod, Rhys Williams.