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Munster v Connacht


An Tarbh

Ronan O'Gara will captain Munster for the first time this week, pretty good week for ROG coming off the back of a sucessful autumn both personally and results wise and now finally signing a new contract with the IRFU. Paul O'Connell is on the bench but Christian Cullen makes yet another comeback for Munster, at this stage I think expectation levels are just so low and given how solid Payne has been it's not like they need Cullen cause lets face it he won't be ever hitting the heights he used to. All in all there's 9 changes to the team which surprisingly beat the Ospreys last weekend. Sensible move not starting Hayes after he had to start all 3 AIs.

Connacht make 5 changes to their side with John Fogarty, Ray Hogan, Colm Rigney, Mark McHugh and Conor McPhillips in the starting lineup for Sunday's fixture.

Munster: 15. C Cullen; 14. J Kelly, 13. B Murphy, 12. L Mafi, 11. A Horgan; 10. R O'Gara, 9. T O'Leary; 1. D Hurley, 2. F Sheahan, 3. F Pucciariello, 4. D O'Callaghan, 5. M O'Driscoll, 6. A Quinlan, 7. D Wallace, 8. D Leamy.

Replacements: 16. A Kyriacou, 17. J Hayes, 18. P O'Connell, 19. T McGann, 20. P Stringer, 21. J Manning, 22.T Halstead.

Connacht: 15 Daniel Riordan, 14. Conor McPhillips, 13. Paul Warwick, 12. Keith Matthews, 11. Darren Yapp, 10. Mark McHugh, 9. Chris Keane, 1. Ray Hogan, 2. John Fogarty, 3. B Sturgess/S Knoop, 4. David Gannon, 5. Andrew Farley, 6. John Muldoon, 7. Ray Ofisa, 8. Colm Rigney.

Replacements: Adrian Flavin, Brett Wilkinson, Ryan Strudwick, Brendan O'Connor, Conor O'Loughlin, Gavin Williams, John Hearty.
Finished 13-0 at Thomond Park, wasn't on tv but Cullen scored the only try on his comeback, good win for Munster as it puts them into the playoff position for the last HEC place, however should they finish there no doubt that the IRFU will change the rules to have them in the competition.

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