Twelve of the Munster match day squad for the trip to Edinburgh are aged 24 or under with 20 year old Paddy Butler set to make his first start of the season at number 8 in place of the injured James Coughlan (neck). Up to now, the captain was Peter O’Mahony who has just turned 22 and he is named on a bench whose average is 22.5 years.
Butler is one of ten changes Tony McGahan makes to the starting XV from the Blues game with Coughlan just the one forced change. There are two positional switches, Johne Murphy moving to the right wing in place of Doug Howlett (rested) and Scott Deasy, a replacement in Cadiff coming into the full-back slot occupied by Murphy last time out. Tommy O'Donnell moves to the blindside to accomodate the return of Niall Ronan, that switch a recognition of the rich vein of form O'Donnell is enjoying.
" I'm enjoying it right enough," the Tipperary man says "Coming into this season I knew that with the World Cup. I’d get the chance to get a few games. There’s still a lot of quality in the back-row so it was a matter of putting in a good pre-season and getting a run at it.
" We enjoyed a good run. Four games gone, two to go in this phase, top of the League, its exactly where you want to be." he continues. " Obviously the defensive effort last week was massive. A few lucky breaks like that forward pass and some good defence. It was just a really determined effort. And of course Ian’s kicking was just phenomenal."
Mick O'Driscoll winning his 192nd cap captains the side.
Munster: S Deasy; J Murphy, T Gleeson, L Mafi, D Hurley; I Keatley, P Stringer; W du Preez, D Fogarty, J Hayes; D Foley, M O'Driscoll; T O'Donnell, N Ronan, P Butler. Replacements: M Sherry, J Ryan, S Archer, I Nagle, P O'Mahony, D Williams, D Barnes, S Zebo.