While O’Connell’s availability is a major plus for head coach Tony McGahan, the Australian has also now invested in young loose head prop David Kilcoyne, who makes his first start at this level, although he has a degree of experience with the Munster A team.
In all, there are four changes from the team that defeated Glasgow in Cork last weekend, with O’Connell replacing Donnacha O’Callaghan, Kilcoyne in for Wian du Preez, BJ Botha for Stephen Archer and Conor Murray called back in place of London Irish bound Tomas O’Leary.
The Scarlets welcome back George North from injury but centre Jonathan Davies is out with a groin injury and is replaced by Stephen Jones.
Jones played at 12 last weekend in Aironi and the Scarlets will be looking to his vision and leadership in midfield in this crucial game. Alongside Jones is young centre talent Adam Warren, who put in some eye-catching performances in the early part of the season.
Scarlets: L Williams, G North, A Warren, S Jones, S Lamont, R Priestland, G Davies, R Jones, M Rees (capt), D Manu, S Timani, D Day, A Shingler, J Turnbull, B Morgan.
Replacements: E Phillips, P John, S Gardiner, M Gilbert, K Murphy, T Knoyle, J Williams, V Longi.
Munster: F Jones; L O’Dea, J Murphy, L Mafi, S Zebo; I Keatley, C Murray; D Kilcoyne, M Sherry, BJ Botha; M O’Driscoll, P O’Connell (capt), D Ryan, T O’Donnell, P O’Mahony.
Replacements: D Varley, W du Preez, S Archer, Donncha O’Callaghan, P Butler, T O’Leary, S Deasy, I Dineen.