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Page last updated at 20:18 GMT, Friday, 10 December 2010

Munster v Ospreys (Sun)

Venue: Thomond Park, Limerick Date: Sunday, 12 December 2010 Kick-off: 1300 GMT
Coverage: Full commentary on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & online, score updates on BBC Radio 5 live and BBC Sport website. Live on Sky Sports 2

Marty Holah
Marty Holah has featured in most of the Ospreys games this season

The Ospreys have received a boost ahead of their Heineken Cup clash in Munster as experienced flanker Marty Holah has been cleared to play at Thomond Park.

The New Zealander received a two-week ban when found guilty of tripping Chris Paterson and playing an opponent without the ball against Edinburgh.

But Holah's appeal against the ban was successful and he will play Munster.

Paul O'Connell is named on the Munster bench while Tomas O'Leary is picked at scrum-half ahead of Peter Stringer.

O'Connell returned to Munster duty after nearly nine months out because of injury as he came on as a second-half replacement in last weekend's Magners League win over Cardiff.

Sam Tuitupou starts at centre alongside Keith Earls with Johne Murphy named at wing and Denis Hurley starting on the bench.

James Coughlan edges out Alan Quinlan for the blind-side flanker role.

Ryan Jones is picked at lock as the Ospreys go in search of a first Heineken Cup win over Munster when they visit Thomond Park on Sunday.

The Welsh region have beaten the Irish province there in the Magners League, but have not overcome their Irish foes in three European attempts.

The Ospreys are without full-back Lee Byrne (thumb) and wing Shane Williams (shoulder).

"We're going into this game in pretty good shape generally," said Ospreys forwards coach Jonathan Humphreys.

"We've worked hard to build our squad depth and we've seen over the last month to six weeks some players putting their hands up.

"Barry Davies had his first full 80 minutes last weekend, Richard Fussell has been in excellent form and is looking a real threat every time he gets the ball, while Justin Tipuric is really blossoming, so we won't be looking at the negatives, only the positives."

Double Heineken Cup champions Munster beat Cardiff Blues 15-9 last weekend.

In the same round of Magners games, the Ospreys beat Edinburgh 33-16 at Liberty Stadium.

The Ospreys' defeats by Munster including a 43-9 quarter-final loss in 2009.

Head coach Sean Holley said: "You can never write Munster off. They have laid the foundations in place and, after all the time of trying, there is a legacy there now.

"They have worked hard to get where they are now - just ask our forwards coach Jonathan Humphreys because when he played Munster at the end of his career he was playing in front of just a couple of hundred people at Thomond Park.

It is ludicrous that people wrote them [Munster] off at the start of the season

Ospreys head coach Sean Holley

"Now they have big stands, have won a couple of Heineken Cups, have won the Magners and are currently top of the Magners and our Heineken Cup group.

"It is ludicrous that people wrote them off at the start of the season - and those comments and thoughts have probably spurred them on.

"We didn't really need that but we are improving and progressing and it should be a great couple of weeks."

During Ospreys' Magners League win over Edinburgh last weekend, they eased some of their international contingent back into regional action.

Forwards Alun Wyn Jones, Ryan Jones and Dan Biggar started that game while James Hook, Mike Phillips, Paul James, Adam Jones, Ian Gough and Jonathan Thomas came off the bench, where Ireland's Tommy Bowe remained.

Munster: P Warwick; D Howlett, K Earls, S Tuitupou, J Murphy; R O'Gara, T O'Leary; W du Preez, D Varley, T Buckley; D O'Callaghan, M O'Driscoll; J Coughlan, D Wallace, D Leamy (capt).
Replacements: M Sherry, Darragh Hurley, J Hayes, P O'Connell, A Quinlan, P Stringer, L Mafi, Denis Hurley

Ospreys: Barry Davies; Tommy Bowe, Andrew Bishop, James Hook, Richard Fussell; Dan Biggar, Mike Phillips; Paul James, Richard Hibbard, Adam Jones, Ryan Jones, Alun Wyn Jones (capt), Jerry Collins, Marty Holah, Jonathan Thomas.
Replacements: Mefin Davies, Duncan Jones, Craig Mitchell, Ian Gough, Justin Tipuric/Tom Smith, Jamie Nutbrown, Sonny Parker, Nikki Walker.

Referee: Christophe Berdos (France)

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see also
Holah cleared for Ospreys Cup bid
10 Dec 10 |  Ospreys
Jones criticises Holah suspension
09 Dec 10 |  Ospreys
Ospreys suffer Byrne injury blow
08 Dec 10 |  Ospreys
Ospreys 33-16 Edinburgh
04 Dec 10 |  Ospreys
Munster 16-9 Blues
04 Dec 10 |  Munster
Coming up next on Scrum V...
03 Nov 08 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales

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