Munster Side For Ospreys Clash
6th October 2011 By Munster Rugby
Munster make eight changes for the visit of the Ospreys to Thomond Park Stadium on Saturday night for the last game in the opening phase of the RaboDirect PRO12 League.
It's by far the glamour tie of this series of games with the Ospreys the only side who are still unbeaten and leading Munster by three points at the head of the table. Both sides will be desperate to get a win here and go into the break leading the League and doubtless one side will go into this game with an extra pep in their step as a result of proceedings down under earlier in the day.
Doug Howlett returns to the Munster side and as a result Johne Murphy moves back to the full back berth he's occupied so impressively up to now. Danny Barnes also returns to the starting XV while this time around Duncan Williams starts ahead of Peter Stringer.
Stephen Archer gets the nod over John Hayes while Billy Holland, the travelling reserve last weekend, partners Mick O'Driscoll in the second row.
In what could be the deciding back-row area, Dave O'Callaghan comes in on the blindside for his first competitive start, Niall Ronan retains the number 7 jersey while Peter O'Mahony pulls it all together at number 8.
BJ Botha is named on the bench as is Marcus Horan who has recovered from the bout of illness that kept him out of the Edinburgh game.
Holland had the opportunity to the rule over the side from the touchline in Edinburgh and will be hoping Munster can play a little bit cuter this time around. “Yeh, we'll have too if we're to have any chance against them. I think we lacked the bit of edge we had in the games before Edinburgh. Just weren't sharp enough for whatever reason.
“We didn't help ourselves. Sixteen points down after twenty odd minutes. Then get ourselves back into the game by half-time. But then, those scores early in the second half, ten points like. You've no chance at that stage.”
And the suggestion that maybe it was the required wake-up call. “We'll find out if it was on Saturday, won't we ?” he says.
Munster. Johne Murphy; Doug Howlett, Danny Barnes, Lifeimi Mafi, Denis Hurley; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; Wian du Preez, Denis Fogarty, Stephen Archer; Billy Holland, Mick O'Driscoll; Dave O'Callaghan, Niall Ronan, Peter O'Mahony capt. Replacements: Sean Henry, Marcus Horan, BJ Botha, Ian Nagle, Tommy O'Donnell, Peter Stringer, Scott Deasy, Simon Zebo.