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Preview: Munster v Glasgow

11th April 2014 12:46

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Ian Keatley Munster Duncan Weir Glasgow

Heavyweight clash: Munster v Glasgow

Glasgow Warriors boss Gregor Townsend names an all-Scottish back-three for his side's PRO12 visit to Munster on Saturday.

Peter Murchie keeps his place at full-back, with Sean Maitland continuing on the right wing and Tommy Seymour coming in for Niko Matawalu on the opposite side.

After his Man of the Match performance against Treviso last week, Finn Russell keeps the number 12 jersey, with Alex Dunbar replacing Mark Bennett at outside centre.

Duncan Weir comes in for Ruaridh Jackson at fly-half and Chris Cusiter once again captains the side, after replacing Henry Pyrgos at scrum-half.

Gordon Reid starts his fifth consecutive game at loosehead, with Dougie Hall replacing Pat MacArthur at hooker and Jon Welsh coming in for Geoff Cross at tighthead.

Tim Swinson links up with Jonny Gray in the engine room, with Al Kellock not involved this weekend.

Josh Strauss replaces Rob Harley at blindside, Chris Fusaro comes in for Tyrone Holmes at openside and Ryan Wilson continues at number eight.

Pat MacArthur, Geoff Cross, Rob Harley and Henry Pyrgos are all included on the bench after starting in last week's win over Treviso, while Jerry Yanuyanutawa, Leone Nakarawa, Peter Horne and Richie Vernon have also been named among the replacements.

"Munster have been in excellent form this season and are now the sole representatives from the PRO12 in the Heineken Cup, so we're under no illusions about the size of the task we face," said Townsend.

"Munster will be buoyed by their victory over Toulouse in the Heineken Cup quarter-final last weekend and the comprehensive nature of their win has underlined just what a tough place Thomond Park is to go and get a result, as we are all too well aware.

"A lot of our squad have put their hands up for selection this week and it was a difficult team selection with so many in-form players.

"We're delighted to be heading to Limerick on the back of a three-game winning run, but we know there are areas we must improve if we're to come away with a victory tomorrow night."

Meanwhile, James Coughlan will captain Munster this weekend in the absence of Peter O'Mahony who has been ruled out for the rest of the season following reconstructive shoulder surgery earlier this week.

This weekend sees a total of seven personnel changes from the side that started last Saturday against Toulouse in the Heineken Cup.

BJ Botha is the only front row member to remain in situ, and will pack down alongside Duncan Casey at hooker and John Ryan at loose head. Both Casey and Ryan gained valuable Heineken Cup experience last weekend.

Paul O'Connell is rested this week so Munster's most capped player Donncha O'Callaghan joins Dave Foley in the second row to win cap number 247.

Following on from his Man of the Match display against Toulouse, CJ Stander starts this week, Sean Dougall returns at openside, with Captain James Coughlan completing the back row at number eight.

This week JJ Hanrahan joins Murray in the half back partnership while the back line sees Keith Earls move to outside centre in the absence of Casey Laulala who continues to recuperate after sustaining a fractured bone in his right hand against Toulouse.

Gerhard van den Heever takes Earls' position on the wing, the South African flyer hoping to add to his tally of two tries in six matches in the PRO12.

Munster also include a wealth of experience on the bench that includes four of last weekend's match-day squad.

Form: Munster's last three matches in the PRO12 have all been won by the home side on the day, whilst the Munstermen have won all 13 home games they have played in all tournaments this season.

No Scottish side has won on Munster soil since the Warriors themselves won at Musgrave Park in May 2008.

Glasgow Warriors have won their last three matches, which have all been played at Scotstoun. The Warriors have lost their last two away games since beating the Blues at the Arms Park in February.

Glasgow have won on three of their last five visits to Ireland.

Glasgow have been victorious just once in their last eight fixtures with Munster: 51-24 at Scotstoun in March 2013, whilst their only previous victory at Thomond Park came on 18th February 2006.

The teams:

Munster: 15 Felix Jones, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Keith Earls, 12 James Downey, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 JJ Hanrahan, 9 Conor Murray, 8 James Coughlan (c), 7 Sean Dougall, 6 CJ Stander, 5 Dave Foley, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Duncan Casey, 1 John Ryan
Replacements: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 Alan Cotter, 19 Billy Holland, 20 Paddy Butler, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 Ian Keatley, 23 Johne Murphy.

Glasgow: 15 Peter Murchie, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Alex Dunbar, 12 Finn Russell, 11 Tommy Seymour, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Chris Cusiter (c), 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 Chris Fusaro, 6 Josh Strauss, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Jon Welsh, 2 Dougie Hall, 1 Gordon Reid
Replacements: 16 Pat MacArthur, 17 Jerry Yanuyanutawa, 18 Geoff Cross, 19 Leone Nakarawa, 20 Rob Harley, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Peter Horne, 23 Richie Vernon.

Date: Saturday 12th April
Venue: Thomond Park
Kick-off: 1830 (local and BST)
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wal)
Assistant referees: Gary Conway, David Connolly (both Ire)
TMO: Alan Rogan (Ire)

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