Preview: Munster v Zebre

Date published: November 7 2012

Munster coach Rob Penney has made nine changes to his starting XV for Friday's PRO12 clash with Zebre at Thomond Park.

Munster coach Rob Penney has made nine changes to his starting XV for Friday's PRO12 clash with Zebre at Thomond Park.

20-year-old JJ Hanrahan, who made his Heineken Cup debut off the bench in Munster's win over Edinburgh last weekend, will make his first senior start.

One of those changes is positional, Donnacha Ryan moving from blindside flank to lock in place of Paul O'Connell, while five others, including Hanrahan, were involved off the bench last weekend.

Amongst the backs Felix Jones starts ahead of Denis Hurley at full-back while Duncan Williams is preferred to Conor Murray at scrum-half.

And in the pack, Stephen Archer is in ahead of BJ Botha and Paddy Butler now wears the number eight jersey with Peter O'Mahony who had it in the last match operating at blindside flank.

Meanwhile, Zebre head coach Christian Gajan has made several changes to his run-on side.

He has opted to rest three of the five internationals called up by Italy for the November internationals.

Lock Quintin Geldenhuys, flanker Mauro Bergamasco and wing Giovanbattista Venditti all sit out but the other two, hooker Davide Giazzon and fly-half Luciano Orquera, will be amongst the replacements.

There are competitive starts for Andrea Manici at hooker, and David Odiete on the right wing. Odiete came on as a replacement in last weekend's loss to Biarritz in the Heineken Cup.

Other changes in the backs from that French clash sees Alberto Chiesa starting at fly-half and Matteo Martinelli at scrum-half.

Captain Gonzalo Garcia is confirmed at outside centre, alongside Australian Daniel Halangahu who starts on his inside.

Ruggero Trevisan will start at full-back while Matteo Pratichetti is confirmed on the left wing.

Amongst the forwards, the front row will have props Luca Redolfini and Salvatore Perugini, both earning their 29th caps in the PRO12.

There is a brand new second-row in Josh Sole and Emiliano Caffini. In the back-row, Filippo Cristiano will replace Bergamasco at openside flank, while Filippo Ferrarini starts on the other side of the scrum. Andries van Schalkwyk will start at number eight.

Included amongst the replacements is prop David Ryan, a native of Cork, who featured 12 times in the red shirt of Munster.

Form: Munster returned to winning ways after three straight defeats, on Sunday with their 33-0 victory over Edinburgh in the European Cup. The Munstermen have won all five home games in all competitions this season, and have never been defeated on home soil by an Italian side.Zebre are still awaiting a debut victory for the new franchise, with the only league point gleaned so far coming in their 19-22 defeat at Glasgow in round five of the PRO12. The two teams have never met before.

The teams:

Munster: 15 Felix Jones, 14 Luke O'Dea, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 JJ Hanrahan, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Duncan Williams, 8 Paddy Butler. 7 Peter O'Mahony, 6 Dave O'Callaghan, 5 Donncha Ryan, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Mike Sherry, 1 Dave Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Damien Varley, 17 Marcus Horan, 18 BJ Botha, 19 Billy Holland, 20 Tommy O'Donnell, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Johne Murphy, 23 Denis Hurley.

Zebre: 15 Ruggero Trevisan, 14 David Odiete, 13 Gonzalo Garcia (c), 12 Daniel Halangahu, 11 Matteo Pratichetti, 10 Alberto Chiesa, 9 Luca Martinelli, 8 Andries Van Schalkwyk, 7 Filippo Cristiano, 6 Filippo Ferrarini, 5 Josh Sole, 4 Emiliano Caffini, 3 Luca Redolfini, 2 Andrea Manici, 1 Salvatore Perugini.
Replacements: 16 Davide Giazzon, 17 Matias Aguero, 18 David Ryan, 19 Filippo Cazzola, 20 Nicola Belardo, 21 Tito Tebaldi, 22 Luciano Orquera, 23 Leonardo Sarto.

Date: Friday October 26
Venue: Thomond Park
Kick off: 19:45
Referee: Neil Hennessy (WRU)
Assistant Referees: Sean Gallagher, David Connolly (both IRFU)
Citing Commissioner: Tom McCormack (IRFU)
TMO: Jude Quinn (IRFU)

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