Munster make seven changes to face Glasgow
Peter O’Mahony’s operation a ‘great success’, says Rob Penney
CJ Stander, man-of-the-match against Toulouse after coming on for Peter O’Mahony last weekend, will start tomorrow evening. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho
Munster have made a total of seven changes to the side that put Toulouse to the sword in the Heineken Cup last weekend as they switch their focus back to the Rabo Pro12 this weekend and the visit of Glasgow to Thomond Park (Saturday, 6.30pm).
With Peter O’Mahony ruled out for the rest of the season following surgery on his shoulder during the week, CJ Stander will again deputise in the back row with Sean Dougall coming in for Tommy O’Donnell on the openside and number 8 James Coughlan handed the captaincy.
Behind the scrum, JJ Hanrahan replaces Ian Keatley at outhalf while centre Casey Laulala is continuing to receive treatment on the broken bone in his hand in the hope he could recover for the European semi-final against Toulon later this month.
As for O’Mahony, Munster coach Rob Penney was reluctant to put a timeframe on his recovery today but stressed he would remain within the fold until the end of the season as part of the leadership group.
“Peter has an important role still to play, he’ll do some analysis for us and he’ll be supporting the group in behind the scenes with us coaches and the players, helping prepare for the games ahead,” Penney explained today.
“I spoke to him following the surgery and he was in a buoyant enough mood given the disappointment of the news. Peter is a pragmatic type person so he’s approaching it with a real view of getting himself right for the long term. The surgeon said it was a great success, they had to do a little bit more than they thought, so hopefully now he can start into his rehab.
“I wouldn’t want to put a time on his return but it will be a protracted length of time and the key now is that he rehabs it well and doesn’t try to fix it too early.”
Munster: Felix Jones; Gerhard van den Heever, Keith Earls, James Downey, Simon Zebo; JJ Hanrahan, Conor Murray; John Ryan, Duncan Casey, BJ Botha; Donncha O’Callaghan, Dave Foley; CJ Stander, Sean Dougall, James Coughlan. Replacements: Quentin MacDonald, Dave Kilcoyne, Alan Cotter, Billy Holland, Paddy Butler, Duncan Williams, Ian Keatley, Johne Murphy.