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Howlett At Full Back For Munster

28th August 2008 By Munster Rugby

Howlett At Full Back For Munster

Although he retains most of the side that were involved in the 46-22 win over the US Eagles less than a week ago in Hartford, Munster coach Tony McGahan has gone for Doug Howlett to start at full-back in tomorrow’s night’s game against London Irish at Musgrave Park (7.30pm).

The fixture itself has certainly captured the imagination of the public and all tickets have been sold. There will be no cash turnstiles tomorrow evening.

Those players who travelled with the squad to the States but were not involved – Doug Howlett and Alan Quinlan excepted – are named on an extended bench and will get some game-time tomorrow evening according to McGahan.

“Yes, it would be our intention to give those who didn’t get any game time against the Eagles a run at some stage of the game as we go about integrating them back into the playing side of things in preparation for the opening Magners League game.”

The side itself shows just one change in the pack with two-try scorer Frank Sheahan preferred to Denis Fogarty, while in the backs besides the Howlett for Hurley choice, Tomas O’Leary steps up for the injured Mike Prendergast – Peter Stringer in reserve –  and Ian Dowling gets the nod over Brian Carney. Not surprisingly perhaps Keith Earls retains the number 13 jersey after an impressive showing last weekend although Barry Murphy scored two fine tries when he came on as a replacement

Explaining the changes McGahan said, ” It’s early stages of the season and we need to get guys on the park, integrate them as I said with the guys who have already had a run as much as we can. Try out combinations, see how they work and go from there.

“We are fortunate,”  he continued, “to have this game against a really quality Premiership team, a club who have genuine title aspirations and I think it will serve us well in the weeks ahead.”

Also included in the squad is Munster’s newest arrival Justin Melck, the Western Province back-rower who arrived in Cork on Wednesday.

Munster: Doug Howlett; Anthony Horgan, Keith Earls, Lifeimi Mafi, Ian Dowling; Paul Warwick, Tomas O’Leary; Federico Pucciariello, Frank Sheahan, Tony Buckley; Mick O’Driscoll capt, Donnacha Ryan; Billy Holland, Niall Ronan, John O’Sullivan.

Replacements (from); Jerry Flannery, John Hayes, Marcus Horan, Donncha O’Callaghan, Paul O’Connell, David Wallace, Peter Stringer, Ronan O’Gara, Rua Tipoki, Barry Murphy, Justin Melck.


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