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Preview: Munster v Racing Metro

18th January 2013 08:09

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Simon Zebo Munster Heineken Cup

Munster need more tries: Simon Zebo

Munster must beat Racing Métro with a bonus point at Thomond Park on Sunday if they hope to book a place in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals.

The two-time champions, who will be without suspended fly-half Ronan O'Gara, are second in their Pool and three points behind leaders Saracens, who are expected to beat Edinburgh on Saturday.

Munster failed to really impress at Murrayfield last week and will need to improve for the visit of the Parisians, who are aiming for a place in the Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-finals.

The Irish lost 22-17 in the French capital when they two teams met in the opening pool game at the Stade de France back in October.

Munster have won their Round 6 tie for the past five seasons and have lost just two home pool games in the history of the Heineken Cup.

20 French clubs have played on Munster soil in the Heineken Cup with no wins to show.

Racing Metro grabbed three tries in the first 20 minutes against Saracens but failed to secure a try bonus point. Alongside Montpellier, Munster have missed fewer tackles than any other club in this tournament, averaging 7.4 misses per game.

Racing have made 13 changes to their starting XV and are without suspended French international hooker Dimitri Szarzewski as well as centre Fabrice Estebanez. Playmaker Juan-Martin Hernandez, wing Juan Imhoff centre Henry Chavancy have been rested. Former Bath pivot Olly Barkley starts at ten.

For Munster, Ian Keatley takes over from O'Gara and Mike Sherry starts ahead of Damien Varley in an otherwise unchanged starting XV. JJ Hanrahan comes onto the bench.

Munster (revised): 15 Felix Jones, 14 Doug Howlett, 13 Keith Earls, 12 James Downey, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Conor Murray, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Tommy O'Donnell, 6 Peter O'Mahony, 5 Donnacha Ryan, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Mike Sherry, 1 Dave Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Damien Varley, 17 Wian du Preez, 18 John Ryan, 19 Billy Holland, 20 Paddy Butler, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 JJ Hanrahan, 23 Casey Laulala,

Racing Metro: 15 Gaetan Germain, 14 Julien Jane, 13 Guillaume Bousses, 12 Alexandre Dumoulin, 11 Sereli Bobo, 10 Olly Barkley, 9 Mathieu Belie, 8 Jacques Cronje, 7 Bernard Le Roux, 6 Antoine Batut, 5 Fabrice METZ, 4 Karim Ghezal, 3 Benjamin Sa, 2 Benjamin Noirot, 1 Julien Brugnaut.
Replacements: 16 Thomas Bianchin, 17 Andrea Lo Cicero, 18 Juan Pablo Orlandi, 19 Jone Qovu Nailiko, 20 Benjamin Fall, 21 Santiago Dellape, 22 Sebastien Descons, 23 Masi Matadigo,

Date: Sunday, 20 January
Venue: Thomond Park
Kick-off: 12:45 GMT
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: JP Doyle, (England) Robin Goodliffe (England)
Television match official: David Grashoff (England)

  • Munster Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , December 6
Munster vs Clermont Auvergne15:15
Sunday , December 14
Clermont Auvergne vs Munster15:15
Saturday , January 17
Saracens vs MunsterTBC
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Saturday , November 1
Cardiff Blues vs Munster17:15
Friday , November 21
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Munster19:30
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Saturday , December 20
Glasgow vs Munster14:40
Friday , December 26
Munster vs Leinster17:00
Saturday , January 10
Zebre vs Munster16:00
Wednesday, January 14
Munster vs Cardiff BluesTBC
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
  • Munster Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
Saturday , October 18
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 10
Munster 17 - 6 Scarlets
Saturday , October 4
Leinster 23 - 34 Munster
Saturday , September 27
Munster 14 - 19 Ospreys
Friday , September 19
Munster 31 - 5 Zebre
Friday , September 12
Benetton Treviso 10 - 21 Munster
Friday , September 5
Munster 13 - 14 Edinburgh
More Guinness PRO12 results
  • Table
Pool 1
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Munster28
2Saracens25
3Sale Sharks11
4Clermont Auvergne11