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Preview: Scarlets v Munster

15th February 2013 12:07

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Mike Sherry Munster hec

Captain: Mike Sherry

Munster have named hooker Mike Sherry as captain for their PRO12 clash at the Scarlets on Saturday.

The 24-year-old becomes one of the youngest players to lead the side following on from Peter O'Mahony who led the side during 2011/2012.

Sherry, who agreed a new two-year contract last month, starts in Parc y Scarlets ahead of Damien Varley, who also has just penned a deal that keeps him in Munster for the next two seasons.

There are changes aplenty in the Munster side with internationals Donncha O'Callaghan and Ronan O'Gara included and that means a switch to full back for Ian Keatley, a position he occupied before this season against Dragons and Racing.

Meanwhile, the Scarlets welcome back two of their Welsh internationals for the clash with Liam Williams and Josh Turnbull returning home for Saturday evening's fixture at Parc y Scarlets.

The Scarlets go into their contest against Irish province Munster having won both of their last games at home, over Leicester in the LV= Cup and Connacht in the PRO12 last weekend.

Scarlets head coach Simon Easterby has rewarded recent strong performances and puts faith in the young half back partnership of Owen Williams at outside half and Aled Davies at nine - both of whom get starting jerseys on Saturday.

There are just three changes to the winning team that started against Connacht, with back three international Liam Williams returning to the wing; fully fit Gareth Maule comes back to centre and South African tight head prop Adriaanse returns to the starting line-up.

Form: Scarlets have won their last two fixtures at Parc y Scarlets, over Leicester in the Anglo-Welsh Cup and Connacht in the RaboDirect PRO12. Munster have won five of their last six contests in all competitions. The Munstermen have won their last two away games in the RaboDirect PRO12, but have not won three in a row on the road in the same season in the tournament since 2010/11. Scarlets beat Munster 13-6 at Musgrave Park in round nine, and have not completed a league double over the Munstermen since 2003/04.

The teams:

Scarlets: 15 Gareth Owen, 14 Liam Williams, 13 Gareth Maule, 12 Adam Warren, 11 Andy Fenby, 10 Owen Williams, 9 Aled Davies. 8 Kieran Murphy, 7 Josh Turnbull, 6 Rob McCusker (capt), 5 Johan Synman, 4 George Earle, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Emyr Phillips, 1 Phil John.
Replacements: 16 Kirby Myhill, 17 Rhodri Jones, 18 Samson Lee, 19 Jake Ball, 20 Johnathan Edwards, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Aled Thomas 23 Nick Reynolds.

Munster: 15 Ian Keatley, 14 Denis Hurley, 13 Ivan Dineen, 12 JJ Hanrahan, 11 Johne Murphy, 10 Ronan O'Gara, 9 Duncan Williams, 8 Paddy Butler, 7 Tommy O'Donnell, 6 CJ Stander, 5 Ian Nagle, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 BJ Botha 2 Mike Sherry, 1 Wian du Preez.
Replacements: 16 Damien Varley, 17 John Ryan, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Billy Holland, 20 Sean Dougall, 21 Cathal Sheridan, 22 Danny Barnes, 23 Casey Laulala.

Date: Saturday, February 16
Kick-off: 18:30
Venue: Parc y Scarlets
Referee: Dudley Phillips (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Neil Hennessy (Wales), Simon Rees (Wales)
Television match official: Gareth Simmonds (Wales)

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