Edinburgh aim to do the double on Munster

EDINBURGH are boosted by the return of veteran Scott Murray and Munster by Paul O’Connell for the Magners League game at Murrayfield tonight.

Both will lead their teams. While Edinburgh will be seriously depleted because of injury, Munster coach Declan Kidney appears to have another trick up his sleeve after naming Brian Carney at full-back. The former Rugby League star was called into the Irish squad for the tour to Argentina earlier this week.

Tonight’s game is relatively inconsequential between two mid-table sides, but Kidney has pushed Carney into a new role and that will arouse its own share of interest — in Ireland at least.

Full-back has been a bit of a problem position for Munster, with Shaun Payne out injured and Christian Cullen coming to the end of his tenure with the province.

With limited buying power, Kidney could solve one problem at least if Carney showed he could be as good at 15 as he has so far shown out wide.

Edinburgh can be tricky opponents at home and the lack of atmosphere at Murrayfield is hardly likely to turn Munster on. Murray captains Edinburgh for their final home match of the season, but he will be matched by an equally determined O’Connell.

Elsewhere, Alan MacDonald returns to the Edinburgh side in place of the injured Dave Callam. Ben Cairns switches to outside centre for Marcus Di Rollo, who has a pelvic injury, meaning Lucio Lopez Fleming starts at full-back.

Edinburgh coach Lynn Howells said: “The last home game is always important, to put in performance for the supporters to show what it means to the players to be at home.

“Given our earlier victory at Thomond Park, Munster will want to put the record straight and I’ve no doubt Declan Kidney will remind them about that as you don’t want two results going against you in a season.

“They will play the same way as they always play. It’ll be physical, they’ll intimidate us and they also have Ronan O’Gara who can put points on the board from anywhere. It will be tough.”

Munster’s former captain Anthony Foley, making his way back after missing the last game through illness, is determined to finish the season on a high. He said yesterday: “We lost to Edinburgh earlier in the season and we have a score to settle in a sense. But it’s going to be difficult. Murrayfield is just as daunting as Thomond Park when the crowds are packed in. We’re coming up against a pretty well motivated side and they would, I’m sure, be delighted to do the double over us. It’s going to be our responsibility to ensure they don’t achieve that goal,” he said.

EDINBURGH: L Lopez- Fleming, R. Dewey, B. Cairns, M. Dey, S. Webster, P. Goodman, G. Laidlaw, A. Jacobsen, A. Kelly, G. Cross, A. Strokosch, S Murray (captain), S Taylor, A. Hogg, A MacDonald.

Replacements: D Hall, A Dickinson, F Pringle, R Rennie, S Cross, J Senio, D Hodge

Unavailable for selection: Mike Blair (collar-bone/shoulder), Innes Brown (neck), Dave Callam (rib), Marcus Di Rollo (pelvis), Andrew Easson (leg), Dave McCall (shoulder), Fraser McKenzie (thigh), Matt Mustchin (shoulder/collar-bone), Chris Paterson (knee), Craig Smith (neck), Hugo Southwell (shoulder), Steven Turnbull (shoulder).

MUNSTER: B. Carney, A. Horgan, B. Murphy, M. Lifeimi, I. Dowling, R. O’Gara, T. O’Leary, F. Pucciariello, F. Sheahan, T. Buckley, M. O’Driscoll, P. O’Connell (captain), A. Quinlan, A. Foley, J. O’Sullivan.

Replacements:D. Fogarty, F. Roche, D. Leamy, D. Wallace, B. O’Meara, J. Manning, M. Lawlor.

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