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Seven Changes For Munster

21st January 2011 By Munster Rugby

Seven Changes For Munster

For the most part Munster retain the same personnel as were involved in Toulon, for Saturday’s clash with London Irish (Thomond Park Stadium 3.30).

The three absentees are Donnacha Ryan who tweaked a hamstring last Sunday, Paul Warwick who suffered a heavy knock in that game and Sam Tuitupou who also strained a hamstring in training this week.  While the additions are Denis Hurley who starts on the left wing and on the bench, Scott Deasy and Tom Gleeson who along with Hurley, featured in the British & Irish Cup win over Nottingham the Friday before the Toulon match, Deasy landing all of Munster's points that evening in Meadow Lane.

Munster coach Tony McGahan makes seven changes, two of those positional for Saturday's game, Johne Murphy taking over at full back from Warwick with David Wallace switching to blindside flanker in place of James Coughlan while Niall Ronan is handed the number 7 shirt.

The only other change up front sees Mick O'Driscoll preferred to Donncha O'Callaghan as lock partner for Paul O'Connell.

In the backs Lifeimi Mafi replaces Sam Tuitupou and Tomas O'Leary starts ahead of Peter Stringer on this occasion.

The recall of Hurley was fairly predictable given his current good form that has seen him named in the Ireland Wolfhounds squad. The decision by management for a 6:2 forwards backs split on the bench for the Toulon game meant Hurley missing out but ensured him a hectic weekend. He flew out with the B&I Cup side to Nottingham last Friday morning, then back to Shannon early Saturday morning to join the senior squad as cover for the flight to Marseille.

Now restored to the side his is a positive midset in the midst of the gloom surrounding Munster failure to qualify for the knock-out stages.

“Of course I understand the supporter's disappointment. We feel it just as keenly. People went to extraordinary lengths and huge expense in difficult times to support us last weekend. And you like to repay that sort of loyalty. But I think we still can.

” I'd like to see last Sunday's game, not as the ending that some people might, but as a starting point for us for the rest of the season. There's a huge game ahead of us on Saturday. There's our goal, set out at the start, to win our home games. There's our record here in Thomond Park and the possibility of a place in the Amlin Challenge Cup.

There's the Magners League after that so really we have a lot that we can deliver on. Let's start the process on Saturday ?

Munster: J Murphy; D Howlett, K Earls, L Mafi, D Hurley; R O'Gara, T O'Leary; W du Preez, D Varley, J Hayes; M O'Driscoll, P O'Connell; D Wallace, N Ronan, D Leamy capt. Replacements: M Sherry, D Hurley, T Buckley, D O'Callaghan, J Coughlan, P Stringer, S Deasy, T Gleeson.




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