Munster and Connacht ring changes

Danny Barnes returns to the Munster side for the RaboDirect PRO12 game against Cardiff Blues at the Cardiff City Stadium tomorrow night (7.05pm).

Danny Barnes returns to the Munster side for the RaboDirect PRO12 game against Cardiff Blues at the Cardiff City Stadium tomorrow night (7.05pm).

The Kerryman, who missed the Scarlets game with a slight hand injury, is one of two changes Tony McGahan makes to his starting backline, Duncan Williams being the other, while overall there are six changes from the side that started against Scarlets last time out.

Up front, Wian du Preez steps in for Marcus Horan and at tight head Stephen Archer comes in for John Hayes while Mick O'Driscoll will be partnered by Billy Holland in the second row and Tommy O'Donnell breaks into the back row in place of Niall Ronan.

Interesting newcomer to the match day squad is 23-year-old prop John Ryan. Ryan, who has impressed at Ireland Schools and in U19/20 internationals, was drafted into the squad in place of Horan who is suffering from illness.

Twenty-two-year-old Peter O’Mahony continues to captain the team from the back row.

Connacht’s starting XV for the visit of the Dragons (7.30pm) sees five changes to that which earned a bonus point against Edinburgh last weekend.

In the pack Ray Ofisa comes in at number 8 for the injured George Naoupu.

Naoupu came off last weekend with a knee injury and is likely to be out for a number of weeks.

Dave Gannon will make his first start since his return to the Province.

The 6’6 secondrow, who has 55 caps for Connacht from his time here in 2005/08, replaces Michael Swift who is unavailable due to illness.

After making his comeback from injury against the Scarlets two weeks ago Brett Wilkinson makes the starting lineup, with Ronan Loughney providing prop cover from the bench.

There’s a new halfback pairing with Frank Murphy at scrumhalf and Niall O’Connor at outhalf.

The 24 year old former Ulster and Ireland U20 player scored the winning penalty in Connacht’s victory over the Scarlets at the Sportsground and crossed for his debut Connacht try against Edinburgh last weekend.

Brian Tuohy comes onto the wing for Mark McCrea. The flying winger has played for Ireland A and Ireland 7’s and scored 2 try’s in Connacht comprehensive 37-8 win over Glasgow last February.

Munster (v Cardiff): J Murphy; D Howlett, D Barnes, L Mafi, D Hurley; I Keatley, D Williams; W du Preez, M Sherry, S Archer; B Holland, M O'Driscoll; P O'Mahony capt, T O'Donnell, J Coughlan. Replacements: D Fogarty, J Ryan, J Hayes, D Foley, N Ronan, P Stringer, S Deasy, T Gleeson.

Connacht (v Dragons): G Duffy; B Tuohy, E Griffin, H Fa’afili, T O’Halloran; N O’Connor, F Murphy; B Wilkinson, E Reynecke, R Ah You; D Gannon, M McCarthy; J Muldoon, J O’Connor, R Ofisa. Replacements: A Flavin, R Loughney, D Rogers, M Kearney, TJ Anderson, P O’Donohoe, M Jarvis, J Loxton.

More in this section

CourtsRugbyHeathrowPlace: Cardiff City StadiumPlace: EdinburghPerson: Danny BarnesPerson: KerrymanPerson: Tony McGahanPerson: Duncan WilliamsPerson: Wian du PreezPerson: Marcus HoranPerson: Stephen ArcherPerson: John HayesPerson: Mick O'DriscollPerson: Billy HollandPerson: Tommy O'DonnellPerson: Niall RonanPerson: John RyanPerson: RyanPerson: HoranPerson: Peter O’MahonyPerson: Ray OfisaPerson: George NaoupuPerson: NaoupuPerson: Dave GannonPerson: Michael SwiftPerson: Brett WilkinsonPerson: Ronan LoughneyPerson: Frank MurphyPerson: Niall O’ConnorPerson: Brian TuohyPerson: Mark McCreaPerson: J MurphyPerson: D HowlettPerson: D BarnesPerson: L MafiPerson: D HurleyPerson: I KeatleyPerson: D WilliamsPerson: W du PreezPerson: M SherryPerson: S ArcherPerson: B HollandPerson: M O'DriscollPerson: P O'MahonyPerson: T O'DonnellPerson: J CoughlanPerson: D FogartyPerson: J RyanPerson: J HayesPerson: D FoleyPerson: N RonanPerson: P StringerPerson: S DeasyPerson: T GleesonPerson: G DuffyPerson: B TuohyPerson: E GriffinPerson: H Fa’afiliPerson: T O’HalloranPerson: N O’ConnorPerson: F MurphyPerson: B WilkinsonPerson: E ReyneckePerson: R Ah YouPerson: D GannonPerson: M McCarthyPerson: J MuldoonPerson: J O’ConnorPerson: R OfisaPerson: A FlavinPerson: R LoughneyPerson: D RogersPerson: M KearneyPerson: TJ AndersonPerson: P O’DonohoePerson: M JarvisPerson: J LoxtonEvent: PRO12Organisation: MunsterOrganisation: ConnachtOrganisation: RaboDirectOrganisation: Cardiff BluesOrganisation: ScarletsOrganisation: Ireland SchoolsOrganisation: DragonsOrganisation: UlsterOrganisation: Ireland U20Organisation: EdinburghOrganisation: Ireland AOrganisation: IrelandOrganisation: GlasgowOrganisation: Cardiff

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