MUNSTER HAVE NAMED an as-expected side for tomorrow’s RaboDirect Pro12 semi-final against Ospreys, with Ronan O’Gara passed fit to take his place among the replacements.
In total, Tony McGahan has made three changes from the side which beat Ulster with Donncha O’Callaghan coming off the bench to replace the injured Paul O’Connell in the second row.
Out-half Ian Keatley is fit again after he was forced out of last weekend’s game with a knock picked up in training on Thursday. He replaces Scott Deasy in the number 10 shirt, while a fit-again Keith Earls returns at outside centre with Ivan Dineen dropping to the bench.
Ospreys coach Steve Tandy is without seven players, including Ireland international Tommy Bowe who is still recovering from surgery on a haemotoma.
The Swansea side have beaten Munster home and away already this season and will be out to avenge their defeat in Thomond Park at the same stage of the competition last year.
“Munster will be coming to the Liberty with a winning mentality as they always do, wherever they play, whoever the opposition and whatever the game,” Tandy told the club’s official site.
“They’re a tough bunch, steely edged, with the knowhow and experience to win tight games and they won’t be contemplating losing. You can guarantee that much.
“It’s going to be a tough old battle between two teams who know each other very well, two teams who will have to slug it out to get control out there, but it should be a tight, edgy affair as games between the Ospreys and Munster always are. We’ll have our home support behind us and they’ll have an important part to play as well, as we’ll need to make full use of every advantage we can get.”
Ospreys: Fussell; Dirksen, Bishop, Beck, Williams; Biggar, Fotuali’i; James, Hibbard, Adam Jones; Alun Wyn Jones, Evans; Ryan Jones, Justin Tipuric, Joe Bearman. Replacements: Scott Baldwin, Ryan Bevington, Aaron Jarvis, James King, Tom Smith, Rhys Webb, Matthew Morgan, Tom Isaacs.
Munster: Jones; Murphy, Earls, Mafi, Zebo; Keatley, Murray; du Preez, Sherry, Botha; O’Callaghan, O’Driscoll; Ryan, O’Donnell, O’Mahony. Replacements: Fogarty, Kilcoyne, Archer, Dave O’Callaghan, Butler, O’Leary, O’Gara, Dineen.