With 13 of his squad unavailable through injury – six of those current internationals – and the likes of Paul O’Connell, Ronan O’Gara and Conor Murray unavailable to him because of national squad policy, Tony McGahan gives a host of his younger players the opportunity to make an impression in the RaboDirect PRO12 game with Edinburgh on Saturday (Thomond Park Stadium, 8.30)
Only two players – Will Chambers and Donncha O’Callaghan – remain from the side that started against Leinster earlier in the month. Ten of Saturday’s match day squad were involved in Munster’s British &Irish Cup win over Neath last weekend, while two more, skipper Mick O’Driscoll and Scott Deasy were in France as back up for the Heineken Cup side.
The almost wholesale change in personnel provides opportunities according to Assistant Coach Anthony Foley, ” Look, whatever side is selected, the players all train together, all sit down and review and preview the opposition. They work together in training. So everyone understands what’s required.
“They’ve (Edinburgh) come off the back of two great weekends in Europe but so have we and with the game in Thomond Park with hopefully a massive support, the opportunity is there for fellas to make a case for themselves because there are places up for grabs in the team.”
Munster: Denis Hurley; Luke O’Dea, Will Chambers, Danny Barnes, Simon Zebo; Ian Keatley, Tomas O’Leary; Marcus Horan, Denis Fogarty, Stephen Archer; Donncha O’Callaghan, Mick O’Driscoll capt; Billy Holland, Tommy O’Donnell, Paddy Butler.
Replacements: Sean Henry, John Ryan, John Hayes, Ian Nagle, James Coughlan, Duncan Williams, Tom Gleeson, Scott Deasy.
Not considered because of injury: D Wallace, J Flannery, Donnacha Ryan, Denis Leamy, M Sherry, P Borlase, Darragh Hurley, Dave O’Callaghan, K Earls, F Jones, I Dineen, S Scanlon, T Smith.