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Preview: Zebre v Munster

02nd May 2013 13:36

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Gonzalo Garcia

Gonzalo Garcia: Starts at 12 for Zebre

Zebre go in search of their first ever PRO12 win when they host Munster at Stadio XXV Aprile in Parma on Friday.

The home side are desperate to finish the season on a high, after gaining nine losing bonus points - many of them by the narrowest of margins - in their 21 previous matches.

Zebre welcome back Italy internationals, centre Gonzalo Garcia and hooker Davide Giazzo, as well as their South African number eight Andries van Schalkwyk.

The trio have all recovered from injury and return to the starting XV after missing Zebre's last match - a 41-22 defeat to Keinster two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, it's a much changed Munster side that will take to the field against their Italian hosts.

Not surprisingly perhaps most of the frontliners are left at home in Ireland with the notable exception of Paul O'Connell who was named in the British and Irish Lions squad last Tuesday.

Besides O'Connell, of those who started last weekend in Montpellier, only three, Casey Laulala, Dave Kilcoyne and Mike Sherry, will start against Zebre.

Form: This is the last chance this campaign for Zebre to claim that elusive first ever win in the RaboDirect PRO12, although they have picked up nine bonus points during the season.Munster have won just one of their last seven RaboDirect PRO12 matches: 22-0 at home to Connacht on 23rd March. The Munstermen have not won away from home in the competition in 2013 and have lost on their last two visits to Italy.Munster won 29-3 at Thomond Park when the two sides met in round 7.

Zebre: 15 Ruggero Trevisan, 14 Giovanbattista Venditti, 13 Alberto Benettin, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Daniel Halangahu, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Andries Van Schalkwyk, 7 Mauro Bergamasco, 6 Filippo Ferrarini, 5 Marco Bortolami (c), 4 Josh Sole, 3 David Ryan, 2 Davide Giazzon, 1 Matias Aguero.
Replacements: 16 Andrea Mancini, 17 Luciano Leibson, 18 Andrea de Marchi, 19 Emiliano Caffini, 20 Filippo Cristiano, 21 Alberto Chillon, 22 Matteo Pratichetti, 23 Samuele Pace.

Munster: 15 Denis Hurley, 14 Ronan O'Mahony, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 Ian Keatley, 11 Johne Murphy, 10 JJ Hanrahan, 9 Cathal Sheridan, 8 Paddy Butler. 7 Sean Dougall, 6 Dave O'Callaghan, 5 Paul O'Connell (c), 4 Billy Holland, 3 John Ryan, 2 Mike Sherry, 1 David Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Damian Varley, 17 James Cronin, 18 BJ Botha, 19 Ian Nagle, 20 Johnny Holland, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 Cian Bohane, 23 Felix Jones.

Date: Friday, May 3
Venue: Stadio XXV Aprile
Kick-off: 20:45 (local)
Referee: Andrew McMenemy (SRU)
Assistant Referees: Matteo Liperini, Stefano Roscini (both FIR)
TMO: Carlo Damasco (FIR)

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