Munster coach Tony McGahan has named his side ahead of the clash with Cardiff on Friday.
Danny Barnes returns to the Munster side for the RaboDirect PRO12 game against the Cardiff Blues at Cardiff City Stadium tomorrow evening.
The Kerryman, who missed the Scarlets game with a slight hand injury, is one of two changes Tony McGahan makes to his starting XV backline, Duncan Williams being the other, while overall there are six changes from the side that started against Scarlets last time out.
Up front, Wian du Preez steps in for Marcus Horan and at tight head Stephen Archer comes in for John Hayes while Mick O’Driscoll will be partnered by Billy Holland in the second row and Tommy O’Donnell breaks into the back row in place of Niall Ronan.
Interesting newcomer to the match day squad is 23 year old prop John Ryan. The former Ireland Schools, U19/20 international was drafted into the squad in place of Horan who is suffering from illness.
The Blues won their opening two games but went down 20-3 last weekend in Ravenhill. Their record against Munster in Cardiff is good however. Although McGahan’s side side won there last season you have to go back to November 2005 for the last time that Munster won in the Welsh capital.
Johne Murphy: “Although we’ve won our opening games, our performances have been a bit fitful. We haven’t really been playing for the 80 minutes that we need to. Last weekend for example we were good in the opening and second quarter and died away in the third. That won’t do at all against the Blues. They’re a good side who I thought were a little unlucky in Ulster where Humphs bossed the game and the way it went conditions favoured the home side. Nor has our record over here been good in recent years. So we really need to deliver an 80+ minute performance and see what that leaves us.”
Munster: J Murphy; D Howlett, D Barnes, L Mafi, D Hurley; I Keatley, D Williams; W du Preez, M Sherry, S Archer; B Holland, M O’Driscoll; P O’Mahony capt, T O’Donnell, J Coughlan. Replacements: D Fogarty, J Ryan, J Hayes, D Foley, N Ronan, P Stringer, S Deasy, T Gleeson.