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Preview: Munster v Dragons

26th September 2013 13:34

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SKY_MOBILE Paul OConnell

On the bench: O'Connell

Munster head coach Rob Penney has named lock Paul O'Connell among his replacements for Saturday's fixture with the Dragons at Musgrave Park.

Following a promising first outing in the league against Edinburgh, James Cronin has been selected to start the game at loosehead prop alongside Damien Varley and John Ryan.

Keith Earls shifts in from the wing to start at 13 in a new centre partnership with Ivan Dineen.

Felix Jones is also in line to play his first game of the season after recovering from shoulder surgery as he is named amongst the substitutes.

Meanwhile, the Dragons have brought in Matthew Pewtner on the wing for the game in Cork.

The centre pairing of Ross Wardle and Jack Dixon stay the same after impressing Lyn Jones against the Scarlets.

International fly-half Kris Burton steps into the number 10 jersey as Jason Tovey moves to the bench and young gun Jonathan Evans takes on the role of scrum-half as Richie is also moved to the bench.

"I saw all the reports about Richie and how well he played," said Evans ahead of his first start.

"It is a little bit of pressure on myself to follow up a performance as good as that is going to be really hard. But I need to concentrate on my own game, concentrate on the basics and make sure that I don't make any mistakes.

"Lyn has given me the chance to prove myself to I am going to try and take it."

The front-row gets a shake up as Phil Price and Hugh Gustafson are named and Francisco Chaparro takes on tighthead prop, whereas the second-row stays the same with Andrew Coombs as captain.

As for the replacements, young guns Sam Parry and Ieuan Jones take their places alongside Owen Evans, Dan Way, Rob Sidoli and Adam Hughes.

Form: Munster's three game winning run in the RaboDirect PRO12 came to an end on Friday in Treviso. The Munstermen have taken their last three encounters at Musgrave Park since Cardiff Blues won there in January. Newport Gwent Dragons last six matches have all been won by the home side on the day, whilst the Men for Gwent's only PRO12 away victory since March 2012 was 14-13 at Zebre in February. The Dragons have won their last two games against Irish Provinces, but both games were played at Rodney Parade, you have to go back to September 2008 to find their most recent away victory over a Province. Each side won its respective home game when the two teams met last season, but Dragons only previous win on Munster soil came on their very first visit to Thomond Park in March 2004.

The teams:

Munster: 15 Johne Murphy, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Keith Earls, 12 Ivan Dineen, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 JJ Hanrahan, 9 Cathal Sheridan, 8 Paddy Butler, 7 Sean Dougall, 6 Peter O'Mahony (capt), 5 Dave Foley, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 John Ryan, 2 Damien Varley, 1 James Cronin.
Replacements: 16 Mike Sherry, 17 David Kilcoyne, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Paul O'Connell, 20 CJ Stander, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 Ian Keatley, 23 Felix Jones.

Dragons: 15 Dan Evans, 14 Matthew Pewtner, 13 Ross Wardle, 12 Jack Dixon, 11 Tom Prydie, 10 Kris Burton, 9 Jonathan Evans, 8 Netani Talei, 7 Lewis Evans, 6 Jevon Groves, 5 Matthew Screech, 4 Andrew Coombs (c), 3 Francisco Chaparro, 2 Hugh Gustafson, 1 Phil Price.
Replacements: 16 Sam Parry, 17 Owen Evans, 18 Dan Way, 19 Rob Sidoli, 20 Ieuan Jones, 21 Richie Rees, 22 Jason Tovey, 23 Adam Hughes.

Date: Saturday, September 28
Kick-off: 18:45 BST
Venue: Musgrave Park
Referee: Neil Paterson (Scotland)
Assistant referees: Sean Gallagher (Ireland), Gary Glennon (Ireland)
Television match official: Jude Quinn (Ireland)
Assessor: Jack Sheehan (Ireland)

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