Sunday 26 January 2020

Paul O'Connell and Felix Jones start for Munster against Leinster

Ireland legend Paul O'Connell and Felix Jones have both been named in Rob Penney's starrting XV for Munster's clash with Leinster at Thomond Park on Saturday.

There is also good news for BJ Botha and Conor Murray who have recovered from knocks to take their place on the replacements bench.

Botha, who sustained a knee injury in Munster's pre-season game against London Irish, has displayed great commitment to the rehab programme set out by Munster's medical staff in getting match ready for the round five fixture.

Head Coach Rob Penney has opted to start with Jones at fullback on Saturday with Keith Earls switching to the wing as Casey Laulala and James Downey resume their centre partnership.

With the return of Conor Murray, Cathal Sheridan misses out this week with Duncan Williams starting alongside Ian Keatley in the half-backs.

On making his first start of the season Paul O'Connell joins Donnacha Ryan in the second row pairing while Captain Peter O'Mahony, Niall Ronan and James Coughlan form the back-row.

Munster team to face Leinster: (15-9) Felix Jones; Keith Earls, Casey Laulala, James Downey, Simon Zebo; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; (1-8)Dave Kilycoyne, Mike Sherry, Stephen Archer; Donncha Ryan, Paul O'Connell; Peter O'Mahony Capt., Niall Ronan, James Coughlan.

Replacements: (16-23) Damien Varley, James Cronin, BJ Botha, Donncha O'Callaghan, CJ Stander, Conor Murray, JJ Hanrahan, Denis Hurley.

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