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Pro12: Coughlan leads Munster and Stringer at 9 for Connacht clash

The veteran scrum-half will partner Ian Keatley while Felix Jones misses out through injury.

Ian Keatley: Not exactly keeping his eye on the ball.
Ian Keatley: Not exactly keeping his eye on the ball.
Image: ©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

MUNSTER COACH ROB PENNEY has made 10 changes to the side that lost last weekend’s Heineken Cup clash against Saracens.

The Kiwi has retained the services of just five players that started in the 19-13 for Munster’s Pro12 encounter with Connacht on Saturday evening.

James Coughlan, who won his 100th cap in Vicarage Road last Sunday, will start at Number 8 for the third weekend in succession and will also captain the side.

The game sees the return from injury of Denis Hurley, Tommy O’Donnell and Sean Dougall who had a run out against his old club Rotherham Titans in the British & Irish Cup last weekend.

Peter Stringer starts only his second game of the season at scrum-half and will be partnered by Ian Keatley.

Casey Laulala and James Downey get another outing in the midfield axis but there are new wingers, Johne Murphy and the promising Luke O’Dea, in-situ.

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Dave Kilcoyne and Stephen Archer get the propping duties as Wian du Preez and BJ Botha drop to the bench.

Fitness niggles mean Felix Jones, Keith Earls and Donnacha Ryan all sit out the trip to Galway.

Munster: D Hurley; J Murphy, C Laulala, J Downey, L O’Dea; I Keatley, P Stringer; D Kilcoyne, M Sherry, S Archer; D O’Callaghan, B Holland; P Butler, T O’Donnell, J Coughlan (c).

Replacements: S Henry, W du Preez, BJ Botha, D Foley, S Dougall, D Williams, JJ Hanrahan, D Barnes.

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Patrick McCarry

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