Jones and Varley extend Munster deals
Rugby:Munster have secured the services of Felix Jones and Damien Varley for another two years after both players agreed contract extensions with the province until the end of the until the end of the 2014/2015 season.
The Ireland internationals are the latest Munster players to sign new deals as Rob Penney’s side continue to build for the future.
Penney, meanwhile, has named Ian Keatley at fullback for tomorrow evening’s Rabo Pro12 meeting with the Scarlets in Llanelli with Ronan O’Gara starting at outhalf as he attempts to regain some form ahead of Ireland’s trip to Scotland in the Six Nations next weekend.
With Jonathan Sexton ruled out of that match, there had been calls for Keatley to be brought into the international fold but the decision to start O’Gara would appear to have scotched that possibility. Donncha O’Callaghan, who featured off the bench for Ireland against England last Sunday, has been named in the second row.
The Scarlets will have Welsh internationals Liam Williams and Josh Turnbull available for the clash at the Parc y Scarlets (kick-off 6.30pm).
There are just three changes to the winning team that started against Connacht, with Williams returning to the wing, Gareth Maule back in the centre and South African tighthead Jacobie Adriaanse named in the starting line-up.
“We’ve not made many changes to the starting line up that won against Connacht, the boys that worked hard deserve their chance again and it’s important to try and get some continuity in the team for this block of rugby,” head coach Simon Easterby said this morning.
“It’s tight at the top of the league table, so this game is a huge one for both sides as it’s a chance to take points away from each other.
We knew how important the four league games were going to be for our season and it was good start last weekend - but there’s still a lot of work to do and we have to back that up with a performance this weekend.”
Scarlets:G Owen; L Williams, G Maule, A Warren, A Fenby; O Williams, A Davies; P John, E Phillips, J Adriaanse; G Earle, J Synman; R McCusker, J Turnbull, K Murphy. Replacements:K Myhill, R Jones, S Lee, J Ball, J Edwards, G Davies, A Thomas, N Reynolds.
Munster:I Keatley; D Hurley, I Dineen, JJ Hanrahan, J Murphy; R O’Gara, D Williams; W du Preez, M Sherry, BJ Botha; D O’Callaghan, I Nagle; CJ Stander, T O’Donnell, P Butler. Replacements:D Varley, J Ryan, S Archer, B Holland, S Dougall, C Sheridan, D Barnes, C Laulala.