Penney calls up big guns for frontline duty against Glasgow
Munster coach Rob Penney has included an array of international players in his squad for their Pro 12 match against Glasgow at Thomond Park tomorrow. Outside centre Keith Earls, fullback Simon Zebo, outhalf Ronan O’Gara, locks Donncha O’Callaghan and Donnacha Ryan as well as prop Dave Kilcoyne return to the starting team.
Number eight James Coughlan also returns a week ahead of the Heineken Cup round-three match against Saracens following a lengthy lay-off. Munster are fifth on the table but by the time Doug Howlett leads out the team in Limerick they may have slipped a place if Ospreys defeat Cardiff Blues earlier in the day.
Jake Ball, the Scarlets lock forward, who caused Niall Ronan to suffer concussion, has been suspended for two weeks. Ball appeared before an independent Pro 12 disciplinary committee comprised of John Kirk (Scotland, chair), Rob Flockhart (Scotland) and Iain Goodall (Scotland), having been cited for an infringement of Law 10.4(k) (charging into a ruck or maul without binding onto a player in the ruck or maul) against Munster at Musgrave Park last Sunday.
The committee found that Ball had committed the act of foul play, and found it merited a low-end entry point. The player will be free to play from Monday, December 10th. He has a right of appeal.
A scan earlier in the week showed Ronan did not suffer any significant damage in the incident that resulted in him being stretchered off in the 35th minute. He remained in hospital for a night and his condition is being monitored.
Connacht have confirmed the Sportsground will host the fixture between the Ireland Wolfhounds and the England Saxons on January 25th. The evening match has previously been played in Ulster or Dublin and securing the game is seen as a step in the right direction for the western province.
The Wolfhounds will be hoping to avenge last year’s loss at Sandy Park when tries from David Kearney, Tomás O’Leary and Simon Zebo weren’t enough to prevent a 23-17 defeat.
Meanwhile, Italian side Zebre have rested two of their five internationals as they face Leinster tomorrow at the RDS. South African number eight Van Schalkwyk, the side’s leader in playing time and tries this season, will also sit out the match.
ZEBRE: R Trevisan; L Sarto, G Garcia (capt), M Pratichetti, S Sinoti; D Halangahu, T Tebaldi; M Aguero, C Festuccia, D Ryan, Q Geldenhuys, J Sole, N Cattina, M Bergamasco, F Cristiano. Replacements: D Giazzon, A De Marchi, C Fazzari, E Caffini, N Belardo, A Chillon, D Odiete, P Buso.
MUNSTER: F Jones; D Howlett (capt), K Earls, J Downey, S Zebo; R O’Gara, D Williams; D Kilcoyne, M Sherry, BJ Botha; D O’Callaghan, D Ryan; CJ Stander, T O’Donnell, J Coughlan. Replacements: D Varley, W du Preez, S Archer, B Holland, P Butler, P Stringer, I Keatley, C Laulala.