O'Gara to start against Cardiff

Having been released from Ireland’s Carton House training camp, Ronan O'Gara will take his place on the starting XV for Munster's RaboDirectPRO12 game against Cardiff Blues at the Arms Park on Friday (7.05pm).

Having been released from Ireland’s Carton House training camp, Ronan O'Gara will take his place on the starting XV for Munster's RaboDirectPRO12 game against Cardiff Blues at the Arms Park on Friday (7.05pm).

The experienced flyhalf will be partnered by Duncan Williams at halfback with Ian Keatley moving sideways to the number 12 jersey.

Up front, Marcus Horan is the one change in the front row but there is a new combination of Dave Foley and Billy Holland in the second row while Sean Dougall returns to the openside flank and Tommy O'Donnell wears the number 8 jersey for the first time at senior level.

Doug Howlett, who was rested for the Zebre game, is back in his familiar wing berth while Felix Jones retains the number 15 jersey.

An injury to Rob Kearney means Declan Kidney needs to add a fullback to his international squad and having impressed since his return from injury Jones is an obvious candidate, however the Dubliner refuses to let that prospect distract from Friday’s game.

“My focus is purely on the game against Cardiff Blues,” Jones said. “I have no control of issues beyond that and just need to concentrate on this game on Friday.”

Munster (v. Cardiff Blues): F Jones; D Howlett (c), C Laulala, I Keatley, L O'Dea; R O'Gara, D Williams; M Horan, M Sherry, S Archer; D Foley, B Holland; Dave O'Callaghan, S Dougall, T O'Donnell.

Replacements: D Varley, J Ryan, W du Preez, I Nagle, P Butler, P Stringer, D Barnes, J Murphy.

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