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O'Connell set to start

MUNSTER are ready to turn to two of their most experienced campaigners for Sunday's critical Heineken Cup clash against Toulon, with Paul O'Connell and Peter Stringer in line to start at the Stade Felix Mayol, writes Hugh Farrelly.

O'Connell has not played since he faced the Ospreys on December 12, but, having completed his four-week ban, the Munster captain is set to come back into the second- row. It is a tough call on Mick O'Driscoll, but Munster will look to draw on the Lions captain's leadership qualities as they seek to quell Toulon's early onslaught.

Stringer, who has played 77 Heineken Cup games for Munster since his debut in 1998/99, is also in line to start after a rich run of form this season.

Johne Murphy, who excelled when picked in midfield in the 45-18 win over Toulon at Thomond Park last October, could be selected on the left wing, with Sam Tuitupou or Lifeimi Mafi in midfield alongside Keith Earls.

Toulon also name their team today with the greatest speculation surrounding whether Jonny Wilkinson or Felipe Contepomi will start at out-half.

MUNSTER (possible) -- P Warwick; D Howlett, K Earls, S Tuitupou, J Murphy; R O'Gara, P Stringer; W du Preez, D Varley, J Hayes/T Buckley; D O'Callaghan, P O'Connell; J Coughlan, D Wallace, D Leamy. Reps: M Sherry, D Hurley, J Hayes/T Buckley, M O'Driscoll, D Ryan, N Ronan, T O'Leary, L Mafi.

Irish Independent