Thursday 22 March 2018

O'Connell returns as Penney makes nine changes for Connacht clash

Paul O'Connell returns to action to face Connacht at the Sportsground.
Paul O'Connell returns to action to face Connacht at the Sportsground.

Head Coach Rob Penney has rung the changes for Saturday's Sportsground showdown against Connacht

Four changes come in the pack where Paul O'Connell returns to action, joining Donncha O'Callaghan in the second row.

Dave Kilcoyne and Damien Varley start in the front row with John Ryan making the positional switch to tight-head. Paddy Butler takes the place of James Coughlan in the back-row as Varley takes over the captaincy duties.

Duncan Williams teams up with Ian Keatley at half-back, while Denis Hurley, Johne Murphy and Andrew Conway all join James Downey and Gerhard van den Heever in the backline.

In the replacements Munster are bolstered by the addition of BJ Botha who limped off last weekend with a mild ankle injury, and following a week of rest and rehabilitation the prop is in line to make his 70th appearance for the province.

Munster: Denis Hurley; Gerhard van den Heever, Johne Murphy, James Downey, Andrew Conway; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; Dave Kilcoyne, Damien Varley Capt., John Ryan; Donncha O'Callaghan, Paul O'Connell; CJ Stander, Sean Dougall, Paddy Butler.

Replacements: Quentin MacDonald, Alan Cotter, BJ Botha, Billy Holland, Tommy O'Donnell, Gerry Hurley, Conor Murray, Ronan O'Mahony

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