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Three Changes For Munster

9th October 2008 By Munster Rugby

Three Changes For Munster

Munster coach Tony McGahan makes three changes, from the side that started against Glasgow Warriors six days ago, for the opening Heineken Cup game against French side Montauban in Thomond Park tomorrow (Fri) evening (8pm).

Two of those changes are in the backs where Barry Murphy makes way for Lifeimi Mafi – Murphy listed among the replacements – while Ian Dowling returns to the wing in place of Anthony Horgan. 

Up front, Jerry Flannery returns to the front row while Denis Fogarty gets the nod over Frank Sheahan as cover for Flannery, following impressive performances from the Cashel man in the A game a fortnight ago and the second half of the game against the Warriors last Saturday.

Speaking of the changes McGahan said, “The side chosen for this first ERC game is one based on current form.  This side is we believe is the best fit to get a result against a very competitive Montauban XV.  There were some tough decisions because almost the whole squad of players were given an opportunity to impress over the course of the Magners League campaign to date and put their hand up for selection.
“We haven’t played against Montauban before but we have done a lot of analysis on them.  They have a strong and physical forward pack, pace in the outside backs and process a strong kicking game.  Their consistent performances in the French Top 14 makes them fully deserving of a place in what is a very competitive pool alongside Clermont and Sale.  Our approach is the same for every game in showing the opposition full respect while making sure we control our impact and decision making in getting the right result.
“We have learned from our first game at Thomond Park last Saturday night and the condition we faced could be similar.  We have to be focused on our ball carry and ball protection otherwise like all good French sides they can score from anywhere.”

Munster: K Earls, D Howlett, R Tipoki, L Mafi,  I Dowling,  R O’Gara,  P Stringer  M Horan, J Flannery,  J Hayes  P O’Connell capt,  D O’Callaghan, A Quinlan,  D Wallace, J Melck. Replacements: D Fogarty, F Pucciariello, D Ryan, J O’Sullivan, M Prendergast, P Warwick, B Murphy,


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