RONAN O’GARA HAS been charged with getting Munster ticking for their crucial Heineken Cup match against Edinburgh.
Described by Donncha O’Callaghan, who has been named beside Donnacha Ryan in the second row, as ’80 minutes of rugby to have the chance to have 80 minutes more’, Munster need to a win to keep their cup hopes alive.
O’Gara has got the 10 jersey ahead of Ian Keatley despite calls for the veteran out-half to cede to a playing rival that is the superior player with ball in hand.
The Corkman has got Munster over the line many times in the past decade and will be tasked with overseeing backline operations and pinning Edinburgh into the corners when possible.
The Reds need a win, first and foremost, but a bonus point would give them an excellent chance of reaching the Heineken Cup quarter-finals.
Earls in the centre
Munster coach Rob Penney has opted for Keith Earls at outside centre. He will partner James Downey in the midfield axis while Casey Laulala bides his time on the bench.
Damien Varley. who scored a try in the 33-0 cup win over the Scots at Thomond Park, starts at hooker and with props Dave Kilcoyne and BJ Botha flanking him up front.
Simon Zebo and captain Doug Howlett are on the wings while Conor Murray is at scrum-half.
A bustling back row of Peter O’Mahony, James Coughlan and Tommy O’Donnell have been selected together and should cause plenty of problems for Dave Denton and his Edinburgh teammates.
Munster: F Jones; D Howlett (c), K Earls, J Downey, S Zebo; R O’Gara, C Murray; D Kilcoyne, D Varley, BJ Botha; D O’Callaghan, D Ryan; P O’Mahony, T O’Donnell, J Coughlan.
Replacements: M Sherry, W du Preez, S Archer, B Holland, P Butler, D Williams, I Keatley, C Laulala.
*TheScore.ie will be liveblogging all the action from Murrayfield on Sunday from 12:30pm.