Earls the only change for Munster

The inclusion of a fit-again Keith Earls represents Rob Penney’s only change to his starting XV for tomorrow’s Heineken Cup semi-final against Clermont Auvergne at the Stade de la Mosson (6pm).

Earls the only change for Munster

The inclusion of a fit-again Keith Earls represents Rob Penney’s only change to his starting XV for tomorrow’s Heineken Cup semi-final against Clermont Auvergne at the Stade de la Mosson (6pm).

The Limerick man has recovered from the shoulder injury he suffered in the RBS Six Nations to take his place on the right wing in place of Denis Hurley.

The rest of the team is unchanged from the side that beat Harlequins in the quarter-final.

Felix Jones and Simon Zebo complete the back three with James Downey and Casey Laulala occupying midfield.

Having sat out the two PRO12 games since the Harlequins clash, Ronan O’Gara returns to the starting team at pivot alongside scrum-half Conor Murray.

Dave Kilcoyne, Mike Sherry and BJ Botha form the front row with Donnacha Ryan and Paul O’Connell behind them in the engine room.

The battle of the back rows promises to be a compelling subplot and Penney has kept faith with Peter O’Mahony, Tommy O’Donnell and James Coughlan.

There are two changes to that bench with John Ryan in for the injured Stephen Archer (wrist) while Donncha O’Callaghan’s knee injury sustained against Leinster rules him out, his place going to Billy Holland, who replaced him in that game.

Munster (v. Clermont Auvergne): F Jones; K Earls, C Laulala, J Downey, S Zebo; R O’Gara, C Murray; D Kilcoyne, M Sherry, BJ Botha; D Ryan, P O’Connell capt; P O’Mahony, T O’Donnell, J Coughlan.

Replacements: D Varley, W du Preez, J Ryan, B Holland, P Butler, C Sheridan, I Keatley, D Hurley.

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