O'Connell returns for Munster-Ulster tie

by Kieran O'Daly , 06 April 2012

Munster and Ulster have named their starting line-ups for Sunday’s eagerly anticipated Heineken Cup quarter-final clash at Thomond Park (KO 1.45pm).


Munster have made seven changes from the side that went down so tamely to Leinster in the RaboDirect PRO12 last weekend.

Paul O’Connell and Conor Murray return to the side following their extensive injury absences, while hooker Mike Sherry and wing-forward Tommy O'Donnell are set for their first Heineken Cup starts for the province.

Denis Hurley and Donncha Ryan also return from injury to take their places on the wing and in the second row respectively, while up front Wian du Preez starts his seventh consecutive Heineken Cup game for Tony McGahan’s side.

Peter O’Mahony switches from seven to six in the back row, while O’Donnell is preferred to David Wallace who is named on the bench.

Meanwhile, Ulster coach Brian McLaughlin has made just one change to his starting line-up following on from their impressive 45-7 victory over Aironi in the RaboDirect PRO12 last week, with Dan Tuohy returning in place of Lewis Stevenson to partner Johann Muller in the second row.

The big news for Ulster is that Stephen Ferris has also been named in the starting line-up.  The inclusion of Ferris, who missed last year's quarter-final defeat to Northampton, will come as a major boost to the in-form Ulstermen as the Ireland flanker had required extensive treatment on the ankle injury he picked up in the Aironi match.

Other than that, the only other change to the match day squad sees centre Nevin Spence included among the replacements at the expense of Ian Whitten.



F Jones;  D Hurley, K Earls, L Mafi, S Zebo; R O’Gara, C Murray; W du Preez, M Sherry, BJ Botha; D Ryan, P O’Connell; P O’Mahony, T O’Donnell, J Coughlan.

Replacements: D Varley, M Horan, S Archer, D O’Callaghan, D Wallace, T O’Leary, I Keatley, J Murphy.

S Terblanche; A Trimble, D Cave, P Wallace, C Gilroy; I Humphreys, R Pienaar, T Court, R Best, J Afoa, J Muller, D Tuohy, S Ferris, C Henry, P Wannenburg.

Replacements: N Brady, P McAllister, A Macklin, L Stevenson, W Faloon, P Marshall, N Spence, A D'Arcy.


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