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Pro12 teams: Paul O'Connell starts for Munster

Updated: Friday, 21 Mar 2014 12:47 | Comments

Paul O'Connell starts for Munster against Treviso
Paul O'Connell starts for Munster against Treviso

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Paul O'Connell and Keith Earls have been named in the Munster side for the RaboDirect PRO12 clash against Treviso tomorrow night at Thomond Park, 7.15pm.

Damien Varley returns to captain the side in his first start since January as Penney makes 11 changes to the side that were beaten by Scarlets in Round 16.

Munster: Felix Jones, Keith Earls, Casey Laulala, James Downey, Johne Murphy, JJ Hanrahan, Duncan Williams; James Cronin, Damien Varley (capt.), John Ryan, Billy Holland, Paul O'Connell, Donnacha Ryan, Sean Dougall, Paddy Butler.

Replacements: Quentin MacDonald, Dave Kilcoyne, Stephen Archer, Donncha O'Callaghan, CJ Stander, Gerry Hurley, Ian Keatley, Simon Zebo.

Pat Lam has stuck with the same Connacht team that beat Treviso to face Newport Gwent Dragons at Rodney Parade on Sunday, 3.05pm.

Flanker John Muldoon will captain the side and Robbie Henshaw returns from Ireland camp to start at full-back.

Ahead of the game, Lam said: “We know what we need to do. We've targeted this next block of games and everything is about the process we go through as a team to earn the wins and valuable points to move up the table."

Connacht: Robbie Henshaw, Tiernan O'Halloran, Eoin Griffin, Dave McSharry, Fionn Carr, Dan Parks, Kieran Marmion; Denis Buckley, Jason Harris-Wright, Rodney Ah You, Aly Muldowney, Mick Kearney, John Muldoon (capt), Eoghan Masterson, Eoin McKeon.

Replacements: Dave Heffernan, Ronan Loughney, Nathan White, Michael Swift, Andrew Browne, Frank Murphy, Miah Nikora, Darragh Leader. 

Ian Madigan is set to win his 100th Leinster cap against Zebre this evening, 7.15pm (live on RTÉ Two).

The Ireland back is named at out-half in a Blues side that contains 11 full internationals.

The Amlin champions played Zebre as recently as February when they recorded a 31-8 victory in Parma.

Leinster: Zane Kirchner, Darragh Fanning, Fergus McFadden, Noel Reid, Luke Fitzgerald, Ian Madigan, Isaac Boss; Michael Bent, Richardt Strauss, Tadhg Furlong, Leo Cullen (capt), Mike McCarthy, Kevin McLaughlin, Dominic Ryan, Jordi Murphy. 

Replacements: Aaron Dundon, Jack O'Connell, Martin Moore, Tom Denton, Shane Jennings, Eoin Reddan, Jimmy Gopperth, Brendan Macken.

Stephen Ferris will start for Ulster against Edinburgh at Murrayfield tonight, 7.45pm, as one of six changes and one positional switch to the team that beat Scarlets at Ravenhill last weekend.

Ferris played 20 minutes against the Welsh region and is selected at blindside as he continues his phased return to play from the ankle injury he suffered in November 2012.

Jared Payne is selected at full-back, with Tommy Bowe, who has scored three tries in two matches, picked on the right wing.

Ireland lock Dan Tuohy is named as a substitute having recovered from the broken arm that he sustained playing for the international side against Wales.

Ulster: J Payne, T Bowe, D Cave, L Marshall, C Gilroy, P Jackson, M Heaney;  T Court, R Herring, J Afoa, J Muller (capt), I Henderson, S Ferris, S Doyle, R Wilson. 

Replacements: N Annett, A Warwick, R Lutton, D Tuohy, N Williams, R Diack, P Marshall, S McCloskey.

Live television coverage of Leinster v Zebre from 19:00 on Friday 21 March on RTÉ Two and RTÉ.ie (Ireland only).

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