Two Changes For Munster
16th November 2007 By Munster Rugby
The Munster 22 for the clash with Clermont Auvergne shows just two changes from the one that faced London Wasps, Ian Dowling replacing Anthony Horgan and Gerry Hurley named on the bench in place of Tomas O’Leary who is recovering from pneumonia.
Any lingering doubt over John Hayes was removed this morning when the prop took a full part in training at Musgrave Park. Federico Pucciariello was on standby in the event that Hayes hadn’t recovered fully from the neck strain he sustained in the game against London Wasps.
Munster: S Payne; B Carney, R Tipoki, L Mafi, I Dolwing; R O’Gara capt, P Stringer; M Horan, J Flannery, J Hayes; D O’Callaghan, M O’Driscoll; A Quinlan, D Wallace, D Leamy. Replacements: F Sheahan, T Buckley, A Foley, J Paringatai, G Hurley, P Warwick, K Lewis.
Meanwhile the Clermont Auvergne starting XV shows 14 changes from the side that put seven tries on the Scarlets last weekend. But what the sweeping changes underline is the strength in depth the French squad enjoy.
Their front row is now comprised of two Georgian internationals, Goderzi Shvelidze and Davit Zirakashvili and World Cup winning captain Springbok John Smit in a pack anchored at number 8 by New Zealander Sam Broomhall.
In the backs two of the Fijians who so thrilled in the World Cup, Seremia Bai and Vilmoni Delasau are included at out-half and wing respectively while former Springbok Marius Joubert is named in the centre alongside South African colleague Grant Esterhuizen.
Besides highlighting the financial resources available to the French outfit, this selection also means that any video clips from last week will be of no benefit to Munster management.
Clermont Auvergne: J Malzieu; V Delasau, M Joubert, R Chanal, G Esterhuizen; S Bai, A Pic; G Shvelidze, J Smit, D Zirakashvili; P Vigouroux, C Samson; E Etien, F Alexandre, S Broomhall. Replacements: M Lozupone, T Domingo, T Privat, A Audebert, A King, P
Garcia, N Vonowale Nalaga.
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales).