All change for Munster for the clash with Dragons at Rodney Parade with just three of those who started against Leinster last weekend retaining their places in the starting XV for this evening’s RaboDirect PRO12 encounter.
In the past Munster might have used this game, just eight days ahead of a Heineken Cup semi as preparation, and fielded their strongest side. However, given they’ve just come off the back of two intensely physical encounters first against Harlequins and then Leinster, it seems eminently sensible that most of their front-liners are given the time to rest battered bones.
And that provides Ian Costello with an opportunity then to further expose a number of the players, he’ll use in the British & Irish Cup semi-final clash with Leinster, to RaboDirect rugby. Try scorer against Cornish Pirates, Ronan O’Mahony makes his first start at senior level and Cian Bohane is named in a senior match day squad for the first time.
JJ Hanrahan gets his fourth start of the season while there’s a welcome return to the starting line up for Niall Ronan whose last start was against Ospreys in September.
In total there are probably 13 of the 23 who Costello will have when they take on Leinster this day week in Limerick.
Meanwhile lock Andrew Coombs will lead the Dragons in a game that sees two Rodney Parade favorites Dan Lydiate and hooker Steve Jones play their final home game for the Men of Gwent.
Munster: D Hurley; R O’Mahony, I Dineen, JJ Hanrahan, J Murphy; I Keatley, C Sheridan; W du Preez, D Varley, S Archer; D Foley, B Holland Capt.; Dave O’Callaghan, N Ronan, P Butler. Replacements: S Henry, M Horan, J Ryan, I Nagle, CJ Stander, D Williams, C Bohane, D Barnes.
Dragons: Tom Prydie, Matthew Pewtner, Ross Wardle, Lewis Robling, Tonderai Chavhanga, Steffan Jones; Jon Evans; Aaron Coundley, Hugh Gustafson, Nathan Buck, Andrew Coombs capt, Rob Sidoli, Dan Lydiate, Nic Cudd, Toby Faletau Replacements: Sam Parry, Owen Evans, Tim Ryan, Adam Jones, Jevon Groves, Ieuan Jones, Wayne Evans, Andy Tuilagi