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Dublin: 3°C Thursday 3 December 2020

Back to business: Irish rugby stars set to return for Munster

Ronan O’Gara, Paul O’Connell and Conor Murray will all start against Aironi tomorrow evening.

Paul O'Connell will return for Munster tomorrow.
Paul O'Connell will return for Munster tomorrow.

A NUMBER OF Ireland’s World Cup players will turn out for Munster against Aironi tomorrow evening in the RaboDirect PRO12 League.

Keith Earls, Conor Murray, Ronan O’Gara, Donnacha Ryan, Paul O’Connell and Denis Leamy have all been named the Munster starting XV to face the Italian side.

Meanwhile, Donncha O’Callaghan has been named on the bench alongside Tomas O’Leary, who is also set to make his first appearance of the season for Munster.

Johne Murphy, Doug Howlett, Danny Barnes, Wian du Preez and Peter O’Mahony, who all started in the side’s most recent game against Ospreys, all retain their places.

However, a number of established players are still out due to injury including David Wallace, Felix Jones and Jerry Flannery.

Ahead of the match, coach Tony McGahan dismissed suggestions that his side’s World Cup stars were being asked back too soon:

“I think you’ll have seen South African, English and other countries’ players come back and play as soon as they were out of the quarter finals. The Irish players had two weeks rest. We’re already at least a week and a bit behind so we need to look at all the possibilities and people who are going to be best for us short term and long term in this four-week block that we have.”

The game kicks off at 8.30pm tomorrow in Musgrave Park.

Munster (v Aironi Rugby) RaboDirect PRO12 League:

J Murphy; D Howlett, W Chambers, D Barnes, K Earls; R O’Gara, C Murray; W du Preez, D Varley, BJ Botha; D Ryan, P O’Connell (capt); D Leamy, P O’Mahony, J Coughlan. Replacements: D Fogarty, M Horan, J Hayes, D O’Callaghan, N Ronan, T O’Leary, S Deasy, L Mafi.

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Paul Fennessy

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