Munster big guns back in action for Treviso clash

IT’S much change for Munster and minimum alterations for Treviso in advance of tonight’s RaboDirect Pro12 clash at Thomond Park.

Following the Italians’ bonus-point victory over Italian rivals Aironi last weekend, their New Zealand coach Franco Smith has made just one alteration, with Manoa Vosawai taking over from the injured Robert Barbieri at number eight.

In contrast, Tony McGahan welcomes back a number of first choice players following a disappointing defeat to Ulster at Ravenhill, albeit with a weakened team.

Amongst his trump cards will be skipper Paul O’Connell, Keith Earls, Ronan O’Gara, Conor Murray and Peter O’Mahony, who returns after suffering a hairline crack to his jaw in the round three Heineken Cup victory over Llanelli Scarlets at Parc Y Scarlets.

McGahan switches Johne Murphy from left to right wing to accommodate Simon Zebo and Niall Ronan returns to open side flanker alongside O’Mahony and James Coughlan, the only back row survivor last week’s defeat to Ulster.

The coach names Donnacha Ryan in the second-row alongside O’Connell and has Donncha O’Callaghan to call off the bench if required.

Treviso’s Fijian Visawau will be replaced on the bench by Enrico Pavanello, while the only other change among the replacements will be Matteo Muccignat for Pedro Di Santo.

Treviso lost the corresponding fixture last year by 39-13, but they won’t be afraid based on their return game at the Stadio Monigo that they won 19-18 when Munster were stripped of their top players during the Six Nations Championship.

Munster: D Hurley, J Murphy, K Earls, L Mafi, S Zebo, R O’Gara, C Murray; W du Preez, D Varley, BJ Botha, D Ryan, P O’Connell (capt), P O’Mahony, N Ronan, J Coughlan.

Replacements: D Fogarty, M Horan, S Archer, Donncha O’Callaghan, B Holland, T O’Leary, I Keatley, D Barnes.

Treviso: L McLean, L Nitoglia, T Benvenuti, A Sgarbi, B Williams, K Burton, T Botes; M Rizzo, F Sbaraglini, L Cittadini, A Pavanello (capt), C Van Zyl, G Padrò, A Zanni, M Vosawai.

Replacements: D Vidal, M Muccignat, I Fernandez Rouyet, V Bernabò, E Pavanello, S Picone, E Gori, A Di Bernardo

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