Planet Rugby

Preview: Munster v Zebre

14th February 2014 07:36

Share:

donncha ocallaghan munster

Record: Donncha O'Callaghan

Ireland cap Donnacha Ryan starts at second-row for Munster as they take on Zebre in the PRO12 at Musgrave Park on Saturday.

Tommy O'Donnell and Felix Jones return from international duty to start as head coach Rob Penney makes nine changes to the side that beat Cardiff Blues 54-13 last week.

Ian Keatley and Johne Murphy form an exciting new centre partnership with Gerhard van den Heever and Simon Zebo keeping their places in the side after both touched down last weekend. Zebo moves to the left wing with Jones coming in at full-back.

Cathal Sheridan makes his first start since injuring his knee against Ulster in January and partners JJ Hanrahan in the half-backs.

Hooker Duncan Casey is the only player that keeps his place in the front row with James Cronin, who is set to earn his 20th cap, and South African BJ Botha coming into the side.

Captain Billy Holland, who recently signed a two-year contract extension, joins Ryan in the second row.

Dave O'Callaghan comes into the back row for his first start since December with O'Donnell returning from international duty and CJ Stander moving to number eight as he maintains his place in the side.

Young Munster hooker Ger Slattery provides the front-row cover alongside Irish international Dave Kilcoyne and John Ryan.

Donncha O'Callaghan is poised to make a record-breaking appearance off the bench as he looks to make his 241st appearance and become the most-capped Munster player of all time.

Sean Dougall made his comeback from injury against Cardiff Blues and he is also named on a replacements bench that includes Duncan Williams, Denis Hurley and Andrew Conway.

Meanwhile, Zebre front-row Tommaso D'Apice is given the nod at hooker alongside Andre De Marchi and Dario Chistollini.

Andries van Schalkwyk skippers the side from the openside flank, while experienced Kiwi and ex-All Black scrum-half Brendon Leonard wears number nine.

Form: Munster's only defeat in their last 13 first team games was to Ulster at Ravenhill in the PRO12 on 3 January

.

The Munstermen are the only side left in the competition with a 100% home winning record this season.

Zebre's 14 league points so far this season have been evenly split with seven points gained in home games and seven more on the road, including three losing bonus points in their last four away games.

Munster have won all three previous matches they have played against Zebre, this will be the Italian's first visit to Musgrave Park.

The teams:

Munster: 15 Felix Jones, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Johne Murphy, 12 Ian Keatley, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 JJ Hanrahan, 9 Cathal Sheridan, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Tommy O'Donnell, 6 Dave O'Callaghan, 5 Billy Holland (c), 4 Donnacha Ryan, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Duncan Casey, 1 James Cronin
16 Ger Slattery, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 John Ryan, 19 Donncha O'Callaghan, 20 Sean Dougall, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 Denis Hurley, 23 Andrew Conway

Zebre: 15 Guglielmo Palazzani, 14 David Odiete, 13 Kameli Ratuvou, 12 Roberto Quartaroli, 11 Dion Berryman, 10 Ruggero Trevisan, 9 Brendon Leonard, 8 Samuela Vunisa, 7 Andries van Schalkwyk (c), 6 Filippo Cristiano, 5 George Biagi, 4 Michael van Vuren, 3 Dario Chistolini, 2 Tommaso D'Apice, 1 Andrea De Marchi
Replacements:16 Lorenzo Giovanchelli, 17 Luciano Leibson, 18 David Ryan, 19 Emiliano Caffini, 20 Nicola Cattina, 21 Alberto Chillon, 22 Giulio Bisegni, 23 Giovanbattista Venditti

Date: Saturday, February 15
Kick-off: 18:45 GMT
Venue: Musgrave Park
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Nigel Correll (Ireland), Dermot Blake (Ireland)
Television match official: Jude Quinn (Ireland)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 20
Northampton vs London IrishNorthampton vs London Irish Preview
Newcastle vs SaracensNewcastle vs Saracens Preview
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Sunday , April 20
Cardiff Blues vs ScarletsCardiff Blues vs Scarlets Preview
Newport Gwent D'gons vs OspreysNewport Gwent D
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Amlin Challenge Cup
Friday , April 25
Northampton vs Harlequins20:00
More Amlin Challenge Cup fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 25
Blues vs Waratahs17:35
Brumbies vs Chiefs17:40
Sharks vs Highlanders19:10
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , April 19
Bath 32 - 20 WorcesterBath vs Worcester Report
Exeter 12 - 55 SaleExeter vs Sale Report
Wasps 38 - 30 GloucesterWasps vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Zebre 26 - 13 EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Report
Connacht 23 - 32 MunsterConnacht vs Munster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Oyonnax 19 - 19 ToulouseOyonnax vs Toulouse Report
Perpignan 31 - 46 ToulonPerpignan vs Toulon Report
Racing Metro Paris 22 - 6 Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Stade Francais 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Grenoble 21 - 21 Bayonne
Biarritz 19 - 13 Brive
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 17 - 18 CrusadersChiefs vs Crusaders Report
Stormers 18 - 3 LionsStormers vs Lions Report
Sharks 19 - 8 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
Waratahs 19 - 12 BullsWaratahs vs Bulls Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins 24 - 20 LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Leinster 62 - 7 Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Report
Glasgow 27 - 9 UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Castres 22 - 15 MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 39 - 20 BluesHurricanes vs Blues Report
Melbourne Rebels 22 - 16 Western Force
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 13
Saracens 28 - 24 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Irish 40 - 12 NewcastleLondon Irish vs Newcastle Report
Saturday , April 12
Worcester 33 - 38 ExeterWorcester vs Exeter Report
Leicester 27 - 15 WaspsLeicester vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens1976
2Northampton1966
3Bath2064
4Leicester Tigers2064
5Harlequins2058