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O’Driscoll Leads Munster in Ravenhill

24th October 2008 By Munster Rugby

O’Driscoll Leads Munster in Ravenhill

Mick O’Driscoll will lead Munster on Saturday evening when the league leaders resume their Magners League campaign in Ravenhill.

O’Driscoll captains a side that shows several changes from the one that started against Sale Sharks last time out as coach Tony McGahan omits players who have been involved in almost all of Munster games to date.

“This season we have maintained an open squad policy but besides that, the likes of Ronan (O’Gara) has played in six of our last seven games, he was a replacement in the other game, Keith (Earls) the same. Paul (O’Connell) and Doug (Howlett) have played seven straight, John, (Hayes) the last five games and we’re only in month two of a nine month season. So there’s a very good reason for maintaining the size of squad we have. We can’t expect the same guys to play all the time.

“There are no more formidable places to go than Ravenhill and we fully recognise that. Ulster are a tough, robust side. But we have full confidence in our squad, in their ability to put their best foot forward to defend the good form we’ve shown up to now.”

Meanwhile, Stephen Ferris who has been plagued with injury this season, returns to the side at the expense of Ballymena man Matt McCullough who drops out of the squad.  Ed O’Donoghue starts in the second row ahead of Italian International Carlo Del Fava who is named on the bench. Thomas Anderson, son of  former Ulster player Willie Anderson. is named in the side,  Rory Best will captain the side and start ,despite not being named in the extended squad earlier this week.

Munster: D Hurley; A Horgan, B Murphy, L Mafi, I Dowling, P Warwick, P Stringer; F Pucciariello, D Fogarty, T Buckley; M O’Driscoll capt, D Ryan; A Quinlan, J O’Sullivan, J Melck. Replacements: J Flannery, D Hurley, M Melbourne, J Coughlan, M Prendergast, J Manning, K Lewis.

Ulster: B Cunningham; T Nagusa, D Cave, P Wallace, A Trimble; N O’Connor, C Willis; (1-8) J Fitzpatrick, R Best (C), BJ Botha, E O’Donoghue, R Caldwell, S Ferris, D Pollock, R Diack. Replacements: N Brady, T Court, C Del Fava, T Anderson, I Boss, I Humphreys, M McCrea


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