Munster coach Tony McGahan has kept his changes to a minimum from the side that started against London Irish last weekend, for Saturday’s RaboDirect PRO12 opening round against Newport Gwent Dragons at Musgrave Park (7.45).
Johne Murphy returns from injury (hamstring) to the full back berth while James Coughlan (eye injury) got the all clear earlier in the week and resumes at number eight while Peter Stringer starts at number nine in place of Duncan Williams who was in from the off against Irish.
Ian Nagle picked up a shoulder knock against London Irish so Billy Holland will partner Mick O’Driscoll in the engine room and Coughlan’s return means a switch for Peter O’Mahony from 8 to the blindside flank. Nagle’s injury is not serious and he is expected to be in contention for the game the following week against Glasgow.
Included on what looks a particularly strong bench are Tomas O’Leary and John Hayes who are bound to be pressed into action at some stage of the evening.
Munster: J Murphy; D Howlett, D Barnes, L Mafi, D Hurley; I Keatley, P Stringer; M Horan, M Shery, S Archer; B Holland, M O’Driscoll; P O’Mahony, N Ronan, J Coughlan.
Replacements: D Varley, W Du Preez, J Hayes, D Foley, T O’Donnell, T O’Leary, S Deasy, S Zebo.