Preview: Munster v Edinburgh

20th Oct 2012, 22:38

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At lock: Donncha O'Callaghan

At lock: Donncha O'Callaghan

Munster welcome back Donncha O'Callaghan to their starting line-up as they look to defeat Edinburgh without an injured Ronan O'Gara.

Munster have Donncha O'Callaghan back into their starting side as they look to beat Edinburgh without an injured Ronan O'Gara on Sunday.

As expected a fit again O'Callaghan returns to partner Paul O'Connell in the second-row while Mick Sherry starts ahead of Damien Varley.

The injury to O'Gara (hamstring) means the predictable first start at 10 for Ian Keatley with the ever-reliable Denis Hurley back into the full-back berth that Keatley occupied at the start of the Racing-Metro game last weekend.

"They did some really good things against Saracens." coach Rob Penney said of Edinburgh.

"If you look at that game closely you'd be remiss to disregard their display totally. Because they did some really good things.

"They got, and I know its very un-Edinburgh like, but they got beaten up a few times at some breakdown situations and a couple of times at set-piece.

"So undoubtedly they'll be doing some work in that area.

"And they'll come to Thomond Park, hopefully thinking they're coming in under the radar after that loss.

"But we're certainly doing as much diligent research as we'd done in any other game to ensure that we're as prepared as we can be.

"And I think there's two sides hurting a bit. It could be fireworks."

Meanwhile, Edinburgh coach Bradley has made a total of five changes to his side.

The one enforced change sees Gregor Hunter replace Greig Laidlaw after the captain failed to recover from the shoulder injury he sustained in last week's match against Saracens.

The remaining four tweaks are tactical, split evenly between the back and forward divisions.

Greig Tonks and Ben Atiga have recovered from hand and hip injuries respectively to make their European Cup debuts for the club at full-back and centre.

Tonks has started every available match since joining from Northampton Saints and, with his hand healed, returns as the club's last line of defence and counter attacking option.

Up front, Bradley has opted for the mobile propping option of Scotland tighthead Geoff Cross, while Fiji captain Netani Talei is selected to start at number eight.

Talei's introduction means the season's stand-out back-rower Stuart McInally is accommodated on the openside at the expense of Ross Rennie, while David Denton retains the blindside berth.

Rugby Union betting odds

The teams:

Munster: 15 Denis Hurley, 14 Doug Howlett (capt), 13 Casey Laulala, 12 James Downey, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Peter O'Mahony, 7 Sean Dougall, 6 Donnacha Ryan, 5 Paul O'Connell, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Mick Sherry, 1 Dave Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Damien Varley, 17 Marcus Horan, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Billy Holland, 20 Paddy Butler, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 JJ Hanrahan, 23 Felix Jones.

Edinburgh: 15 Greig Tonks, 14 Lee Jones, 13 Nick De Luca, 12 Ben Atiga, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Gregor Hunter, 9 Richie Rees, 8 Netani Talei, 7 Stuart McInally, 6 David Denton, 5 Sean Cox, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Ross Ford, 1 John Yapp.
Replacements: 16 Andy Titterrell, 17 Robin Hislop, 18 Willem Nel, 19 Rob McAlpine, 20 Dimitri Basilaia, 21 Chris Leck, 22 Matt Scott, 23 Tom Brown.

Date: Sunday, October 21
Venue: Thomond Park, Limerick
Kick-off: 12.45 BST (11:45 GMT)
Referee: Wayne Barnes