Marcus Horan will win his 200th cap when he runs out with Munster at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday (v Ospreys). The 34 year old made his senior debut in 1999 and won his 100th cap against Leinster in October 2005.
He is only one of two forwards – Donncha O’Callaghan the other – retained from last week although the likes of Paul O’Connell and James Coughlan are named on the bench.
O’Callahan will be partnered by Donnacha Ryan who is anticipating a tough encounter.
They’re always a tough side to take on, no matter where you play them but in their own back yard, more so.
“And I dont think it matters what side they put out,” Ryan continues in reference to international duties that sees them shorn of their stars, “they’ll still play the same brand of rugby. Physical when they want to be and expansive when they can.
“So I think we need to match them up front, take them on there and see where that gets us.”
Munster: Denis Hurley; Doug Howlett, Will Chambers, Danny Barnes, Simon Zebo; Ian Keatley, Tomas O’Leary; Marcus Horan, Damien Varley, BJ Botha; Donncha O’Callaghan, Donnacha Ryan; Denis Leamy, Niall Ronan, Peter O’Mahony capt.
Replacements: Denis Fogarty, Wian du Preez, Stephen Archer, Paul O’Connell, James Coughlan, Conor Murray, Ronan O’Gara, Johne Murphy.