Eight changes for McGahan’s Munster

Tony McGahan has made eight changes for the visit of the Ospreys to Thomond Park on Saturday night (7.30pm) for the last game in the opening phase of the RaboDirect PRO12 League.

Tony McGahan has made eight changes for the visit of the Ospreys to Thomond Park on Saturday night (7.30pm) for the last game in the opening phase of the RaboDirect PRO12 League.

Doug Howlett returns to the wing and as a result Johne Murphy moves back to full back. Danny Barnes also returns to the starting XV while this time around Duncan Williams starts ahead of Peter Stringer.

Stephen Archer gets the nod over John Hayes while Billy Holland, the travelling reserve last weekend, partners Mick O'Driscoll in the second row.

With Jerry Flannery, Damien Varley and Mike Sherry all unavailable Denis Fogarty gets his chance at hooker with Seán Henry providing cover on the bench.

In the back-row Dave O'Callaghan comes in on the blindside for his first competitive start, Niall Ronan retains the number 7 jersey while Peter O'Mahony will captain the team from number 8.

BJ Botha is named on the bench as is Marcus Horan who has recovered from the bout of illness that kept him out of the Edinburgh game.

With the Ospreys yet to suffer their first defeat in this season League Tony McGahan is under no illusions about the threat they pose.

"They're a very good side. A well coached side,” he said.

“They're leading the table, played the best rugby of any side in the RaboDirect PRO12 this season. They have an exceptionally good group of young players that they've put a lot of faith in. Not just for this block of games but for the rest of the year.

“They're always well prepared. We're expecting a very challenging game."

Munster (v Ospreys): J Murphy; D Howlett, D Barnes, L Mafi, D Hurley; D Williams, I Keatley; W du Preez, D Fogarty, S Archer; B Holland, M O'Driscoll; D O'Callaghan, N Ronan, P O'Mahony (c). Replacements: S Henry, M Horan, BJ Botha, I Nagle, T O'Donnell, P Stringer, S Deasy, S Zebo.

More in this section

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox