Damien Varley, who makes his first start in a Heineken Cup semi-final this Sunday, will lead the side out when Munster take on Toulon at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille at 4.30pm (3.30pm Irish time).
JJ Hanrahan is included in Rob Penney’s side for Munster’s 11th Heineken Cup semi-final.
Hanrahan has been extremely disciplined in following his rehabilitation programme and is named in the replacements. His impressive work-rate and dedicated approach have helped the young out-half recover from the moderate groin tear he sustained against Glasgow Warriors earlier in the month.
While Donnacha Ryan, who has been battling with a foot injury since the Treviso game in March, did take part in this week’s training programme but has not been included in the side after a final assessment was made following this morning’s training session in Thomond Park.
Sean Dougall returns to a starting Heineken Cup XV for the first time since Perpignan away in December and joins CJ Stander and James Coughlan in the back-row.
Penney keeps faith with the front-five that started in the quarter-final v Toulouse, and with Casey Laulala recovering from a fractured bone in his hand the Head Coach can call on the same back-line also.
With the change to the back-row Tommy O’Donnell is named in the replacements while James Cronin returns from a sprained ankle to also feature in the squad.
Munster: Felix Jones; Keith Earls, Casey Laulala, James Downey, Simon Zebo; Ian Keatley, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Damien Varley Capt., BJ Botha; Dave Foley, Paul O’Connell; CJ Stander, Sean Dougall, James Coughlan. Replacements: Duncan Casey, James Cronin, John Ryan, Donncha O’Callaghan, Tommy O’Donnell, Duncan Williams, JJ Hanrahan, Denis Hurley.
Referee: Wayne Barnes