First published 10.15
MUNSTER COACH ROB Penney has made wholesale changes to his starting team for the RaboDirect Pro12 clash against the Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun Stadium tomorrow night (19.35).
JJ Hanrahan gets a chance to put his Heineken Cup cameo against Edinburgh well and truly behind him as he starts at out-half alongside Ireland and Lions international Conor Murray.
Elsewhere in the back-line, Andrew Conway and Ronan O’Mahony come into the side on the wings, with Johne Murphy making a positional switch to fullback after starting last weekend’s European win over Gloucester on the left wing. Ivan Dineen gets an opportunity at inside centre in place of the benched James Downey, with Keith Earls being handed the number 13 jersey.
In the front row, dynamic loose head James Cronin steps in for Dave Kilcoyne, while Stephen Archer replaces BJ Botha on the other side of the scrum. Mike Sherry starts at hooker to make up a completely new front row.
The injured Donnacha Ryan is replaced in the back row by CJ Stander, with the South African penciled in to wear number eight. Sean Dougall and captain Peter O’Mahony make up the back row.
Tomorrow night’s exciting clash at Scotstoun sees second-placed Munster taking on the Pro12 leaders in Glasgow, and Penney will be keen for his side to continue the improvement they showed against Gloucester last time out. The Kiwi explained his selection this morning:
“Due to the short turn-around and the travel and intensity of the last three weeks, and the importance of the next two weeks, there is a bit of freshening up in the group and this is why we’ve made a few changes.
“Glasgow are top of the table, semi-finalists who probably should have been in the final last year and they are the form team in the Rabo in at least the last nine months. It doesn’t get more difficult than playing them at their home ground and it’s as big as it gets in the Rabo at this time of the year.”
Munster (v Glasgow): Johne Murphy; Andrew Conway, Keith Earls, Ivan Dineen, Ronan O’Mahony; JJ Hanrahan, Conor Murray; James Cronin, Mike Sherry, Stephen Archer; Donncha O’Callaghan, Paul O’Connell; Peter O’Mahony (capt.), Sean Dougall, CJ Stander.Replacements: Damien Varley, Dave Kilcoyne, BJ Botha, Billy Holland, James Coughlan, Cathal Sheridan, James Downey, Casey Laulala.
Mark Ancombe has made just two changes to the side which won away to Montpellier on Saturday for tomorrow’s visit of Cardiff Blues (19.05).
Stuart Olding replaces Darren Cave in the starting XV with the 20-year-old taking on the fullback role for the first time with the province.
The reshuffle puts Jared Payne back to outside centre with Darren Cave, who performed the role for both of Ulster’s Heineken Cup wins this past fortnight, dropping to the bench.
The only other change to the starting line-up brings Callum Black into the front row providing respite for Tom Court who is joined on the bench by John Afoa.
Ulster ( v Cardiff Blues): S Olding, A Trimble, J Payne, L Marshall, T Bowe, P Jackson, R Pienaar; (1-8): C Black, R Best, D Fitzpatrick, J Muller (Capt.), D Tuohy, R Diack, C Henry, R Wilson;
Replacements: R Herring, T Court, J Afoa, L Stevenson, M McComish, P Marshall, D Cave, M Allen.
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