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Donnacha Ryan returns for Munster's clash with Perpignan

Updated: Friday, 13 Dec 2013 16:57 | Comments

Donnacha Ryan makes a long awaited return to action with Munster
Donnacha Ryan makes a long awaited return to action with Munster

Donnacha Ryan is one of four players drafted into Rob Penney's Munster side for tomorrow's crucial Heineken Cup clash against Perpignan.

Ryan hasn't featured for Munster since injuring knee ligaments against Gloucester in October but makes his return to partner Paul O'Connell in the second-row.

There's only one change in the backs as Cathal Sheridan gets the nod ahead of Duncan Williamsto replace the injured Conor Murray after impressing at the weekend.

Penney has continued his rotation policy with two changes in the front-row. James Cronin and South African BJ Botha replace Irish internationals Dave Kilcoyne and Stephen Archer.

Damien Varley keeps his place in the side with Shannon hooker Duncan Casey hoping to make his second Munster appearance off the bench after his cameo last time out.

The back-row combination of captain Peter O'Mahony, Sean Dougall and James Coughlanremains intact.

Ian Keatley, as expected, has recovered from the dead leg he sustained last weekend to start at out-half.

Munster XV to play Perpignan: Felix Jones; Keith Earls, Casey Laulala, James Downey, Johne Murphy; Ian Keatley, Cathal Sheridan; James Cronin, Damien Varley, BJ Botha; Donnacha Ryan, Paul O'Connell; Peter O'Mahony, Sean Dougall, James Coughlan. 

Replacements: Duncan Casey, Dave Kilcoyne, Stephen Archer, Donncha O'Callaghan, Tommy O'Donnell, Duncan Williams, JJ Hanrahan, Denis Hurley

Leinster coach Matt O'Connor has selected the same side to take on Northampton Saints at the Aviva Stadium. 

O'Connor's side cruised to a 40-7 over the Saints at Franklin's Gardens last week and few if any changes were expected ahead of the return match.

Jamie Heaslip leads an all-Ireland team while Mike McCarthy continues his second row partnership with Devin Toner and the Moynalvey man is set to make his 31st Heineken Cup appearance.

Brian O'Driscoll continues his centre partnership with Gordon D'Arcy, with Luke Fitzgerald (whose hat-trick of tries last weekend pushed him to the top of this year's competition tally) continuing in the back three alongside Dundalk duo Dave and Rob Kearney.

Leo Cullen, Shane Jennings and Zane Kirchner are named on an experienced looking bench.

Leinster XV to play Northampton Saints: Rob Kearney, Dave Kearney, Brian O'Driscoll, Gordon D'Arcy, Luke Fitzgerald, Ian Madigan, Eoin Reddan, Jack McGrath, Sean Cronin, Mike Ross, Devin Toner, Mike McCarthy, Rhys Ruddock, Sean O'Brien, Jamie Heaslip 
 
Replacements: Aaron Dundon, Michael Bent, Martin Moore, Leo Cullen, Shane Jennings, John Cooney, Jimmy Gopperth, Zane Kirchner

Ulster head coach, Mark Anscombe, has selected an unchanged team for tomorrow’s Heineken Cup Pool 5 match against Benetton Treviso at Stadio Monigo. 

The Province beat the same opposition by 48 points to nil at Ravenhill last weekend.

It is the first time in his year and a half in charge of the Province that Anscombe has named the same 23 for two consecutive matches. 

The game will be particularly significant for Ulster lock, Dan Tuohy, who makes his 100th appearance for the Province.

The match will also see Ulster tighthead prop, John Afoa, make his 50th appearance for Ulster and Andrew Trimble will play his 57th game in the Heineken Cup, equalling David Humphreys’ Ulster appearance record in the competition.

Ulster XV to play Benetton Treviso: J Payne, A Trimble, D Cave, L Marshall, C Gilroy, P Jackson, R Pienaar; T Court, R Herring, J Afoa, J Muller, D Tuohy, R Diack, S Doyle, R Wilson 

Replacements: N Annett, C Black, D Fitzpatrick, N McComb, M McComish, P Marshall, M Allen, D McIlwaine.

Connacht Head Coach Pat Lam has made three changes to his side for the return leg of the back-to-back fixtures against Stade Toulouse.

The Westerners claimed a stunning 16-14 victory over the four-time European Champions and are looking to record three consecutive wins for the first time in their Heineken Cup history.

Jason Harris-Wright and Rodney Ah You come in to the front row in place of Sean Henry and Nathan White. Galway-man Eoin McKeon has been named to start at Number 8 in a back row with John Muldoon and Jake Heenan.

In the backs, 20-year-old Irish international Robbie Henshaw is at fullback while Dan Parks and try-scorer Kieran Marmion make up the half back pairing.

Connacht XV to play Toulouse: Robbie Henshaw, Fionn Carr, Eoin Griffin, Dave McSharry, Matt Healy, Dan Parks, Kieran Marmion, Brett Wilkinson, Jason Harris-Wright, Rodney Ah You, Mick Kearney, Craig Clarke, John Muldoon, Jake Heenan, Eoin McKeon

Replacements: Sean Henry, Denis Buckley, Nathan White, Andrew Browne, George Naoupu, Frank Murphy, Craig Ronaldson, Gavin Duffy

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