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Preview: Glasgow v Munster

24th October 2013 11:15

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Keith Earls Munster HEC 2013

Keith Earls: At outside centre for Munster

Munster boss Rob Penney has rung the changes to his starting XV for Friday's PRO12 clash with Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun Stadium.

Backs Andrew Conway, Ivan Dineen and Ronan O'Mahony return to senior action after impressing for the Munster 'A' side in the last two weeks, while JJ Hanrahan starts alongside Conor Murray at half-back.

Johne Murphy and Keith Earls, who were on the wings for last weekend's Heineken Cup win over Gloucester, make positional switches to full-back and outside centre respectively.

Munster start with a new front-row with prop James Cronin making his third league start.

He will link up with Mike Sherry and Stephen Archer in the front-row, and CJ Stander joins Sean Dougall and captain Peter O'Mahony in the back-row.

Speaking about the changes in personnel, Penney said: "Due to the short turn-around and the travel and intensity of the last three weeks - and the importance of the next two weeks - there is a bit of freshening up in the group and this is why we've made a few changes.

"Glasgow are top of the table, semi-finalists who probably should have been in the final last year and they are the form team in the Rabo in, at least, the last nine months.

"It doesn't get more difficult than playing them at their home ground and it's as big as it gets in the Rabo at this time of the year."

Meanwhile, Sean Lamont returns to the Glasgow Warriors starting line-up for this top of the table clash.

The versatile back has recovered from a calf injury and lines up at centre alongside Byron McGuigan, as the Warriors look to continue their unbeaten run in the PRO12.

It is the same back three which featured against Exeter Chiefs last weekend, with Sean Maitland lining up at full-back and DTH van der Merwe and Tommy Seymour on either wing.

Duncan Weir replaces Ruaridh Jackson at fly-half, while Chris Cusiter comes in for Niko Matawalu at scrum-half and will captain the side.

In the pack Ryan Grant, Pat MacArthur and Moray Low make up the front row, with the injured Ed Kalman unavailable this weekend. Following his call-up to the Scotland squad, Jonny Gray comes into the side in place of captain Al Kellock and he will partner Tim Swinson in the engine room.

Tyrone Holmes, Rob Harley and Josh Strauss continue in the back-row.

Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend said: "We've been pleased with our early season form and we're aiming to build on this in front of our home supporters tomorrow night.

"It's been a quick turnaround for us this week but the squad have recovered well from Sunday's game.

"Our last home league game was against the reigning champions Leinster and we need a similar focus and intensity to what we displayed that night if we are to get a positive result.

"Munster are a quality side who mix up their attacking game by moving the ball wide at times, as well as being direct if they get into the opposition half.

"Our two games against Munster last season couldn't have been more different, losing by 28 points in Ireland and then winning by 27 points at Scotstoun.

"We are expecting a physical contest with first place in the league at stake."

Form: The top of the table team in the RaboDirect PRO12 have won their last ten games at Scotstoun in all competitions. The Scotsmen have won all three games against Irish provinces played at Scotstoun in 2013. Munster's only defeat in their last six PRO12 encounters was 19-29 at Benetton Treviso in Round Three. The Munstermen have lost on their last two visits to Scotland in all tournaments. Glasgow's 51-24 victory over Munster in March ended a six game losing run to the Irishmen.

The teams:

Glasgow Warriors: 15 Sean Maitland, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Byron McGuigan, 12 Sean Lamont, 11 DTH van der Merwe, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Chris Cusiter (c), 8 Josh Strauss, 7 Tyrone Holmes, 6 Rob Harley, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Moray Low, 2 Pat MacArthur, 1 Ryan Grant.
Replacements: 16 Dougie Hall, 17 Jerry Yanuyanutawa, 18 Jon Welsh, 19 Tom Ryder, 20 Chris Fusaro, 21 Niko Matawalu, 22 Ruaridh Jackson, 23 Mark Bennett.

Munster: 15 Johne Murphy, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Keith Earls, 12 Ivan Dineen, 11 Ronan O'Mahony, 10 JJ Hanrahan, 9 Conor Murray, 8 CJ Stander. 7 Sean Dougall, 6 Peter O'Mahony (capt), 5 Paul O'Connell, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Mike Sherry, 1 James Cronin.
Replacements: 16 Damien Varley, 17 David Kilcoyne, 18 BJ Botha, 19 Billy Holland, 20 James Coughlan, 21 Cathal Sheridan, 22 James Downey, 23 Casey Laulala.

Date: Friday, October 25
Venue: Scotstoun Stadium
Kick-off: 19:35
Referee: Ian Davies (Wales)
Assistant referees: David Changleng, Bob Nevins (both Scotland)
Television match official: Jim Yuille (Scotland)

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Sunday , October 5
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Friday , October 31
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1Toulon624
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3Exeter612
4Glasgow Warriors611