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Damien Varley to lead Munster against Toulon

Updated: Friday, 25 Apr 2014 13:25 | Comments

Damien Varley (L) with Ian Keatley after Munster's quarter-final victory over Toulouse
Damien Varley (L) with Ian Keatley after Munster's quarter-final victory over Toulouse

Damien Varley has been named as captain for Munster's Heineken Cup semi-final against Toulon in Marseille on Sunday (3.30pm Irish time).

The hooker will lead the side in the absence of regular captain Peter O'Mahony, who is out for the rest of the season after shoulder surgery.

There are two changes to the side who thrashed Toulouse in the quarter-finals, for what is their 11th Heineken Cup semi-final appearance.

CJ Stander takes O'Mahony's place at No 6 with Sean Dougall in for Tommy O'Donnell at openside.

JJ Hanrahan is named on the bench after recovering from a groin tear but there is no place for Donnacha Ryan.

Ryan, who has been battling with a foot injury since the Treviso game in March, did take part in this week's training programme but has not been included in the side after a final assessment was made following this morning's training session in Thomond Park.

Meanwhile, former England star Jonny Wilkinson has recovered from hamstring trouble in time to captain Toulon against Rob Penney's side.

Munster: Felix Jones; Keith Earls,Casey Laulala, James Downey, Simon Zebo; Ian Keatley, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Damien Varley (capt), BJ Botha; Dave Foley, P O'Connell; CJ Stander, Sean Dougall, James Coughlan.

Replacements: Duncan Casey, James Cronin, John Ryan, Donncha O'Callaghan, Tommy O'Donnell, Duncan Williams, JJ Hanrahan, Denis Hurley.

Toulon: Delon Armitage; Drew Mitchell, Mathieu Bastareaud, Matt Giteau, Bryan Habana; Jonny Wilkinson (capt), Sebastien Tillous-Borde; Xavier Chiocci, Craig Burden, Carl Hayman, Danie Rossouw, Jocelino Suta, Juan Smith, Juan Fernandez Lobbe, Steffon Armitage 

Replacements: Jean-Charles Orioli, Alexandre Menini, Martin Castrogiovanni, Virgile Bruni, David Smith, Maxime Mermoz, Michael Claassens, Konstantine Mikautadze 

Full commentary of Toulon v Munster on RTÉ 2FM on Sunday. Presented by Damien O'Meara with Tony Ward, commentary comes from Michael Corcoran and Donal Lenihan.

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