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O'Callaghan to win 200th Munster cap

DONNCHA O'Callaghan will join an elite club tonight by lining out for his 200th Munster cap against the Glasgow Warriors in their Rabodirect PRO12 game at Musgrave Park (KO 7.15, Live on RTé2).

The last player to achieve the feat was Mick O'Driscoll, O'Callaghan's second-row partner tomorrow, and it's possible that O'Callaghan could be the last player to hit the magical 200 mark.

The only others to reach the milestone are Ronan O'Gara, David Wallace, Marcus Horan, Peter Stringer, the recently retired Alan Quinlan and John Hayes, and current forwards coach Anthony Foley.

Munster have made sweeping changes to their team for tonight's clash, with seven players still nursing injuries from last weekend's Heineken Cup defeat by Ulster.

BJ Botha (ribs), Paul O'Connell (knee), James Coughlan (hand), Keith Earls (ankle), Ronan O'Gara (leg), Denis Hurley (leg) and David Wallace (knee) are all sidelined, as are Danny Barnes (knee), Dave Foley (shoulder), Ian Nagle (shoulder) and Dave O'Callaghan (knee). It means that just three of the pack retain their starting positions from last week, while there are five changes to the backline.

O'Driscoll captains the side, while Peter O'Mahony moves to No8 in the absence of Coughlan and Donnacha Ryan is named at blindside wing forward.

In the backs, Johne Murphy takes over from Earls at 13, Luke O'Dea replaces Hurley and Ian Keatley is in for the injured O'Gara. Tomás O'Leary is this time preferred to Conor Murray.



Boks to kick off Irish Tests

THE IRFU has announced the dates and kick-off times for the Guinness Series in November, which includes games against South Africa and Argentina.

The Springboks and Pumas will both be battle hardened following their participation in the newly established Rugby Championship, the new format of the old Tri-Nations.

South Africa were the first international side to visit the Aviva Stadium in November 2010, when they won 23-21.

The series will get under way on Saturday, November 10, when South Africa visit the Aviva for a 5.30pm kick-off.

A week later (November 17), Thomond Park will host the Ireland Wolfhounds game against Fiji, also at 5.30pm.

Argentina are the opposition for the final game, at the Aviva, on November 24, at 2pm.


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