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O'Mahony recovers from hamstring issue to captain Munster against Toulouse

Rob Penney has made just two changes to his team, with James Downey also returning to the side at 12.

O'Mahony is back for Munster.
O'Mahony is back for Munster.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

MUNSTER CAPTAIN PETER O’Mahony has recovered from a hamstring problem and has been named to start in the Heineken Cup quarter-final against Toulouse at Thomond Park tomorrow [KO. 1.30pm].

The Ireland international trained fully yesterday and takes his place in the back row alongside Tommy O’Donnell and James Coughlan, with CJ Stander dropping to the bench.

Rob Penney has made just one further change to the starting XV, with James Downey returning at inside centre in place of Denis Hurley, who drops out of the match-day squad completely as Gerhard van den Heever is preferred for back three cover.

John Ryan takes the place of James Cronin on the bench, with the latter having sustained an ankle injury during training this week.

Otherwise, the Munster 23 is as it was last weekend for the defeat to Leinster, with Felix Jones continuing at fullback in between wings Keith Earls and Simon Zebo. Dave Foley has been retained in the second row ahead of the experience of Donncha O’Callaghan.

Meanwhile, Toulouse head coach Guy Novès has named his starting team to face Munster, with Yannick Nyanga and Luke McAlister the most notable players missing.

Rugby Union - Heineken Cup - Pool Two - Ospreys v Toulouse - Liberty Stadium Louis Picamoles has recovered from a hip problem to start. Source: David Jones

Lionel Beauxis starts at out-half, making up the halfback pairing with South African Jano Vermaak, who replaces France international Jean-Marc Doussain at scrum-half.

In the back row, Joe Tekori will wear seven, although it appears likely that number six Yacouba Camara will perform many of the openside duties around the pitch. In between that duo, Louis Picamoles has recovered from a hip injury to start.

Argentinian Patricio Albacete is alongside Yoann Maestri in the second row, while Yohan Montès fills in for the absent Census Johnston at tighthead prop. Explosive hooker Christopher Tolofua and Gurthrö Steenkamp complete the front row.

Gaël Fickou and Florian Fritz make up a strong midfield, while Yoann Huget, Hosea Gear and Maxime Médard offer real threat in the wide channels.

Nyanga and McAlister face fitness tests tomorrow morning to decide whether or not they make the bench ahead of Vincent Clerc and Clément Poitrenaud.

Munster: Felix Jones; Keith Earls, Casey Laulala, James Downey, Simon Zebo; Ian Keatley, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Damien Varley, BJ Botha; Dave Foley, Paul O’Connell; Peter O’Mahony (capt.), Tommy O’Donnell, James Coughlan.

Replacements: Duncan Casey, John Ryan, Alan Cotter, Donncha O’Callaghan, CJ Stander, Duncan Williams, JJ Hanrahan, Gerhard van den Heever.

Toulouse: Maxime Médard; Yoann Huget, Florian Fritz, Gaël Fickou, Hosea Gear; Lionel Beauxis, Jano Vermaak; Gurthrö Steenkamp, Christopher Tolofua, Yohan Montès; Yoann Maestri, Patricio Albacete; Yacouba Camara, Joe Tekori, Louis Picamoles.

Replacements: Cyril Baille, Schalk Ferreira, Jaba Bregvadze, Romain Millo-Chluski, Gillian Galan, Jean-Marc Doussain, and two from – Vincent Clerc, Yannick Nyanga, Clément Poitrenaud, Luke McAlister.

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Murray Kinsella

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