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Page last updated at 13:12 GMT, Friday, 21 January 2011

Munster v London Irish (Sat)

HEINEKEN CUP POOL THREE
Venue: Thomond Park Date: Saturday, 22 January 2011 Kick-off: 1530 GMT Coverage: Live on Sky Sports red button and updates on BBC Sport website

Tomas O'Leary
Tomas O'Leary is preferred to Peter Stringer at scrum-half

Munster coach Tony McGahan has made a number of changes to his starting team for Saturday's Heineken Cup Pool Three game with London Irish at Thomond Park.

Donnacha Ryan, Paul Warwick and Sam Tuitupou are all injured, while Mick O'Driscoll and Tomas O'Leary start.

London Irish fly-half Dan Bowden, scrum-half Darren Allinson and full-back Topsy Ojo are all handed starts.

The match has no significance in terms of quarter-final qualification as neither team can progress.

Ryan missses out for Munster after tweaking a hamstring against pool winners Toulon last Sunday. Warwick suffered a heavy knock in that game and Tuitupou also strained a hamstring in training this week.

Johne Murphy takes over at full-back from Warwick, with David Wallace switching to blindside flanker in place of James Coughlan while Niall Ronan is handed the number seven shirt.

Lifeimi Mafi replaces Tuitupou in the backs and Denis Hurley starts on the left wing.

London Irish winger Adam Thompstone makes the starting line-up after he came off the bench to make his first appearance for the first team in over a year in the final minutes of last week's victory against Ospreys. Seilala Mapusua will again captain the Exiles.


London Irish Head Coach, Toby Booth:

"The win against the Ospreys was fantastic, we worked hard and earned a result. We need to keep that momentum rolling.

"We are under no illusions about the task ahead of us, Munster is an extremely well resourced side and we expect it to be tough. The squad has prepared hard this week and we will fight tooth and nail to get a victory."


Munster: J Murphy; D Howlett, K Earls, L Mafi, D Hurley; R O'Gara, T O'Leary; W du Preez, D Varley, J Hayes, M O'Driscoll, P O'Connell; D Wallace, N Ronan, D Leamy (capt).

Replacements: M Sherry, D Hurley, T Buckley, D O'Callaghan, J Coughlan, P Stringer, S Deasy, T Gleeson.

London Irish: T Ojo; A Thompstone, E Seveali'i, S Mapusua (capt), S Tagicakibau; D Bowden, D Allinson; A Corbisiero, J Buckland, F Rautenbach, N Kennedy, M Garvey, G Stowers, J Gibson, C Hala'ufia.

Replacements: B Blaney, D Murphy, P Ion, R Thorpe, K Roche, M Watson, R Lamb, P Hodgson.



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see also
Armitage banned for eight weeks
20 Jan 11 |  London Irish
Irish focussed on win - Armitage
20 Jan 11 |  London Irish
London Irish 24-12 Ospreys
16 Jan 11 |  Rugby Union
Toulon 32-16 Munster
16 Jan 11 |  Rugby Union


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