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Preview: Aironi v Munster

25th February 2011 12:41

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SKY_MOBILE Alan Quinlan

Back in red: Alan Quinlan

Muster have been forced to make seven changes to their side for Sunday's Magners League trip to Aironi.

With an international the same day and the British & Irish Cup last Tuesday, Munster ring the changes.

Tony McGahan makes seven in total, three positional, to his starting XV ahead of a strong looking bench that sees the return from injury of the 208 times capped Alan Quinlan.

Quinlan dislocated an elbow in the game against Connacht at the end of December and returns to a replacement bench that includes the experienced Denis Fogarty, Marcus Horan and Doug Howlett.

Denis Leamy is required in Scotland and so the pack shows just one change in personnel with Ian Nagle coming into the second row to partner Mick O'Driscoll and Donnacha Ryan slipping into the back row at blindside.

The half-back pairing from the Edinburgh game of O'Gara and Stringer will also be in Edinburgh so Paul Warwick switches from centre to 10 and will be served by Duncan Williams. Sam Tuitupou resumes at inside centre and Denis Hurley switches to the wing berth vacated by Howlett to facilitate the introduction of former U20 International wing Simon Zebo.

Meanwhile, Italian international scrum-half Pietro Travagli and hooker Tommaso D'Apice will make a first start for Aironi.

There are four other changes in the Aironi starting line-up from the team who lost to the Dragons last Sunday.

Coach Rowland Phillips and his staff have changed both centres, with Gilberto Pavan and Matteo Pratichetti replacing San Martin and Pizarro, whilst Danwel Demas returns at full-back in place of the injured Julien Laharrague, who fractured his right hand during a training session on Thursday.

Kaine Robertson and Giulio Toniolatti take up positions on the wings with a completely new half-back pairing of James Marshall and Travagli, who has nine caps for Italy.

Another International, Josh Sole, returns in a back row completed by Gareth Krause and Nick Williams while former Azzurri U20 hooker D'Apice starts in a front row with props Fabio Staibano and Alberto De Marchi.

Form: Aironi slipped to a 14th Magners League defeat of the season at home to Newport Gwent Dragons on Sunday. Munster's only loss in their last six Magners League encounters came on their previous visit to Italy - against Treviso two weeks ago. Munster won the only previous clash between the two sides, 33-17, at Musgrave Park in round one of the new

The teams:

Aironi: 15 Danwel Demas; 14 Kaine Robertson, 13 Gilberto Pavan, 12 Matteo Pratichetti, 11 Giulio Toniolatti; 10 James Marshall, 9 Pietro Travagli; 8 Nick Williams, 7 Gareth Krause, 6 Josh Sole; 5 Marco Bortolami (capt), 4 Joshua Furno; 3 Fabio Staibano, 2 Tommaso D'Apice, 1 Alberto De Marchi.
Replacements: 16 Roberto Santamaria, 17 Luca Redolfini, 18 Andrea De Marchi, 19 George Biagi, 20 Nicola Cattina, 21 Giorgio Bronzini, 22 Riccardo Bocchino, 23 Gabriel Pizarro.

Munster: 15 Johne Murphy, 14 Denis Hurley, 13 Lifeimi Mafi, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Simon Zebo 10 Paul Warwick, 9 Duncan Williams, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Tommy O'Donnell, 6 Donnacha Ryan, 5 Mick O'Driscoll, 4 Ian Nagle, 3 Tony Buckley, 2 Damien Varley, 1 Wian du Preez.
Replacements: 16 Denis Fogarty, 17 Marcus Horan, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Billy Holland, 20 Alan Quinlan , 21 Conor Murray, 22 Declan Cusack, 23 Doug Howlett .

Date: Sunday, February 27
Venue: Stadio Zaffanella, Viadana
Kick-off: 14.00 (13.00 GMT)
Referee: David Jones (WRU)