Laulala replaces injured Earls
Heineken Cup team news:Munster have been forced to make one change for their trip to Vicarage Road to take on Saracens in the Heineken Cup on Sunday with Casey Laulala coming in at outside centre for the injured Keith Earls.
Earls trained in Limerick on Tuesday but later complained of groin trouble, with Laulala resuming his centre partnership with James Downey after the pair formed the midfield against Racing Metro and Edinburgh.
Simon Zebo, BJ Botha and Dave O’Callaghan all proved their fitness by taking part at training in Cork this morning and will line out against the English side on Sunday.
Shane Jenningsis one of four changes to the Leinster side to face Clermont Auvergne at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday (3.40pm) as coach Joe Schmidt continues his rotation policy amongst his squad.
Jennings comes into the backrow at openside, with Seán O’Brien moving across to blindside in place of Kevin McLaughlin, who starts on the bench after recovering from a knock to the head at the end of last Sunday’s defeat in France.
There are two other changes in the pack, both coming in the frontrow where the fit-again Heinke van der Merwe replaces Cian Healy at loosehead and Richardt Strauss takes over from hooker Seán Cronin. Healy and Cronin are both named amongst the replacements.
The final change in the side comes at scrumhalf, where Eoin Reddan takes over from Isaac Boss, who also starts on the bench. David Kearney has recovered from injury to take his place on the replacements.
Chris Henrywill take over the Ulster captaincy from the injured Johann Muller for Saturday’s Heineken Cup clash against Northampton at Ravenhill (6.0pm).
Muller suffered a displaced fracture in his arm in last weekend’s victory at Franklin’s Gardens so 20-year-old Ireland international Iain Henderson has moved into the secondrow alongside Dan Tuohy, with Nick Williams moving from the bench to start an blindside flanker. Neil McComb replaces Williams on the bench.
LEINSTER (v Clermont, Saturday, Aviva Stadium, 3.40pm):I Madigan; F McFadden, G D’Arcy, A Goodman, I Nacewa; J Sexton, E Reddan; H van der Merwe, R Strauss, M Ross, L Cullen (capt), D Browne, S O’Brien, S Jennings, J Heaslip. Replacements: S Cronin, C Healy, M Bent, D Toner, K McLaughlin, I Boss, A Conway, D Kearney.
CLERMONT AUVERGNE:L Byrne; S Sivivatu, A Rougerie (capt), W Fofana, N Nalaga; B James, M Parra; R Chaume, B Kayser, D Zirakashvili, J Cudmore, N Hines, J Bonnaire, J Bardy, D Chouly. Replacements:T Paulo, V Debaty, D Kotze, L Jacquet, A Lapandry, L Radosavljevic, D Skrela, R King.
ULSTER (v Northampton, Saturday, Ravenhill, 6.0pm):J Payne; T Bowe, D Cave, P Wallace, A Trimble; P Jackson, R Pienaar; T Court, R Best, J Afoa, I Henderson, D Tuohy, N Williams, C Henry (capt), R Wilson. Replacements: N Brady, C Black, R Lutton, N McComb, R Diack, P Marshall, L Marshall, C Gilroy.
NORTHAMPTON:B Foden; K Pisi, G Pisi, T May, J Elliott; S Myler, L Dickson; S Tonga’uiha, M Haywood, P Doran-Jones, S Manoa, C Clark, T Wood, P Dowson (capt), GJ van Velze. Replacements:R McMillan, A Waller, B Mujati, M Sorenson, C Lawes, M Roberts, R Lamb, L Burrell.
MUNSTER (v Saracens, Sunday, Vicarage Road, 3.0pm):F Jones; D Howlett (capt), C Laulala, J Downey, S Zebo; R O’Gara, C Murray; D Kilcoyne, M Sherry, BJ Botha, D O'Callaghan, Donncha Ryan, Dave O'Callaghan, P O’Mahony, J Coughlan. Replacements: D Varley, W du Preez, S Archer, B Holland, P Butler, D Williams, I Keatley, L O'Dea.
SARACENS:A Goode; C Ashton, J Tomkins, B Barritt, D Strettle; O Farrell, R Wigglesworth; R Gill, S Brits, M Stevens, S Borthwick (capt), M Botha, G Kruis, W Fraser, K Brown. Replacements:J Smit, M Vunipola, P Du Plessis, E Sheriff, E Joubert, N de Kock, C Hodgson, C Wyles.