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Rugby teams: Munster and Connacht
22 May 2015 12:12
Anthony Foley has named his Munster side for Saturday's Guinness PRO12 semi-final against Ospreys at Thomond Park (kick-off 2.30pm), with captain Peter O'Mahony and winger Simon Zebo in the starting line-up. O'Mahony and Zebo have successfully rehabbed their respective hip and back complaints to take their place in a side that sees four personnel changes to the starting 15 that defeated Dragons 50-17 in Cork last weekend. Dave Kilcoyne and Stephen Archer both return to join Eusebio Guinazu in the front row, while O'Mahony's start at 6 see's Donnacha Ryan revert to the second row to partner Paul O'Connell. Paddy Butler and CJ Stander remain at 7 and 8. Last weekend's man of the match Conor Murray continues at half-back alongside Ian Keatley, as do Denis Hurley and Andrew Smith in the centre, while the final change sees Simon Zebo re-join Keith Earls and Felix Jones in the back three. From the bench, Duncan Casey could make his return to action after recovering from a back injury while BJ Botha draws ever closer could make his 99th appearance for the province this weekend. Munster: Felix Jones; Keith Earls, Andrew Smith, Denis Hurley, Simon Zebo; Ian Keatley, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Eusebio Guinazu, Stephen Archer; Donnacha Ryan, Paul O'Connell; Peter O'Mahony (captain), Paddy Butler, CJ Stander. Replacements: Duncan Casey, John Ryan, BJ Botha, Billy Holland, Jack O'Donoghue, Duncan Williams, JJ Hanrahan, Ronan O'Mahony.
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Connacht head coach Pat Lam has made two personnel changes to his side to face Gloucester in the Champions Cup play-off game at Kingsholm Stadium on Sunday, kick-off 3:30pm.
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John Cooney, comes in to start at scrum-half in the absence of an injured Kieran Marmion while Ian Porter takes a place on the replacements bench.
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George Naoupu represents the only change to the pack and he is named in the second row alongside Aly Muldowney.
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Tight head prop Rodney Ah You will run out for his 100th appearance for the province, packing down in a front row with Tom McCartney and Denis Buckley.
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22-year-old Academy forward James Connolly, who made an appearance at Kingsholm in the Challenge Cup quarter final last month, is once again included amongst the replacements.
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Marmion, meanwhile, has been ruled out with a medial ligament tear to his left ankle and faces up to four weeks recovery time.
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Connacht: Tiernan O'Halloran; Fionn Carr, Robbie Henshaw, Bundee Aki, Matt Healy; Jack Carty; John Cooney; Denis Buckley, Tom McCartney, Rodney Ah You, George Naoupu, Aly Muldowney, John Muldoon (captain), Eoghan Masterson, Eoin McKeon.
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Replacements: Dave Heffernan, JP Cooney, Finlay Bealham, Andrew Browne, James Connolly, Ian Porter, Miah Nikora, Shane O'Leary.
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