Earls and Leamy start for Munster


Keith earls has returned to the fold and partners Lifeimi Mafi in the centre pairing of a Munster team to face Edinburgh that includes internationals, Peter Stringer, Denis Leamy and Alan Quinlan in the reserves.

The last time the sides met in September 2008, Keith Earls scored a try in Munster’s opening Magners league match against Edinburgh.

Prop Tony Buckley is named in a Munster squad that also includes international squad members, Mick O’Driscoll, Denis Leamy, Alan Quinlan, Keith Earls and Peter Stringer, for the Magners League game against Edinburgh in Musgrave Park tomorrow evening (7.30).

Buckley hasn’t started for Munster since the game against Connacht at The Sporsground at the end of December, illness ruling him out of consideration for the games against Ulster, Ospreys, Sale and Montauban and as a result therefore a possible place in Declan Kidney’s RBS Six Nations squad.

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There is also a return to action for Keith Earls while Ciaran O’Boyle makes his first start of the season on the wing. After his two most recent outings from the bench, in the absence of David Wallace, Niall Ronan occupies the open side flanker berth with Nick Williams set for just his second start in the number 8 jersey while there is a distinctly youthful look to the Munster replacements bench with Michael Essex, Billy Holland, Darragh Hurley and Jeremy Manning all set to play a role as the League leaders look to maintain their place at the head of affairs.

Munster: Denis Hurley; Dough Howlett, Keith Earls, Lifeimi Mafi, Ciaran O’Boyle; Paul Warwick, Peter Stringer; Federico Pucciariello, Denis Fogarty, Tony Buckley; Mick O’Driscoll capt, Donnacha Ryan; Denis Leamy, Niall Ronan, Nick Williams.

Replacements: Michael Essex, Darragh Hurley, Billy Holland, Alan Quinlan, Mike Prendergast, Jeremy Manning, Kieran Lewis.