O’Callaghan and Sherry return for Edinburgh clash

O’Callaghan and Sherry return for Edinburgh clash

Donncha O'Callaghan and Mike Sherry have been named in Rob Penney’s first competitive 23 man squad for the visit to Murrayfield to take on Edinburgh in the RaboDirect PRO12 on Saturday (8pm).

O'Callaghan is partnered by Billy Holland in the second row while Sherry will be hoping to make an impact from the bench with Damien Varley chosen as starting hooker.

The team also includes the three summer signings Casey Laulala, James Downey and Sean Dougall, all of whom featured in Munster’s three pre-season games.

Aside from the three debutants, the only uncapped player in the squad is wing forward Barry O'Mahony while Doug Howlett leads the side for the first time competitively in his new role as squad captain.

Downey and Laulala form the midfield pairing while Luke O’Dea, Howlett and Denis Hurley provide a familiar back-three. Duncan Williams and Ian Keatley continue their partnership at half-back.

Up front there's a strong spine to the selection Varley will be accompanied by the South African pair Wian du Preez and BJ Botha.

Dougall joined in the back row by youth and experience in the shape of Paddy Butler and James Coughlan.

Penney's side face a tricky opening assignment as Michael Bradley welcomes back a number of his internationals who were involved in the triumphant three Test Australasia tour.

Top try-scorer Tim Visser, skipper Greig Laidlaw, Nick De Luca, Ross Ford and Ross Rennie could all feature at some stage on Saturday while David Denton rejoins the extended squad for the first time since sustaining the ankle injury that forced him to miss the summer tour.

Bradley is expected to name his team at midday on Friday.

Munster: D Hurley; D Howlett (c), C Laulala, J Downey, L O’Dea; I Keatley, D Williams; W du Preez, D Varley, BJ Botha; D O’Callaghan, B Holland; P Butler, S Dougall, J Coughlan.

Replacements: M Sherry, M Horan, S Archer, D Foley, B O’Mahony, P Stringer, S Deasy, I Dineen.

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