McGahan shuffles his pack for Connacht encounter

Tony McGahan has made eight changes to the Munster starting line-up for the trip to Galway tomorrow and the RaboDirect PRO12 clash with Connacht (7.45pm).

Tony McGahan has made eight changes to the Munster starting line-up for the trip to Galway tomorrow and the RaboDirect PRO12 clash with Connacht (7.45pm).

Five of those changes come in the pack where there's a return to action for Damien Varley and James Coughlan, neither of whom played against Aironi.

In the backline London Irish bound Tomas O'Leary partners Ian Keatley at half back and Johne Murphy is paired with Perpignan destined Lifeimi Mafi in the centre.

Birmingham-born second year Academy player, Luke O'Dea, who was added to the Heineken Cup squad yesterday, is listed among the replacements.

The Shannon wing marked his debut at senior level with a try against Edinburgh in November and followed up with tries against Ulster and Newport Gwent Dragons.

Mafi's move to Perpignan was officially confirmed on Wednesday and coach Tony McGahan was eager to praise the 29 year old Tongan.

"He has been an outstanding contributor to the Munster set up. A thorough professional on and off the field and an extremely popular squad member with both players and management." he said.

“He has played an integral part in the success Munster have enjoyed in League and Heineken Cup since joining in 2006 and I believe that when it comes to discuss the greats who have worn the Munster jersey, Lifeimi will be right up there among them."

Munster (v Connacht): F Jones; D Hurley, J Murphy, L Mafi, S Zebo; I Keatley, T O'Leary; W du Preez, D Varley, BJ Botha; I Nagle, M O'Driscoll (C); Dave O'Callaghan, D Wallace, J Coughlan.

Replacements: M Sherry, M Horan, S Archer, B Holland, T O'Donnell, D Williams, S Deasy, L O'Dea.

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