O’Connell set to make seasonal bow

Felix Jones is named on the bench for the first time since undergoing shoulder surgery

 Paul O’Connell. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Paul O’Connell. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho


Munster coach Rob Penney has named Paul O’Connell among the replacements for the game against the Newport Gwent Dragons at Musgrave Park on Saturday (6.45pm).

When introduced it will be O’Connell’s first game since breaking his arm while playing for the Lions against Australia in the first test last June.

Following a promising first outing in the league against Edinburgh James Cronin has been selected to start at loosehead prop alongside Damien Varley and John Ryan in the front row.

Keith Earls shifts in from the wing to start in the number 13 jersey in a new centre partnership with Ivan Dineen. Felix Jones is also in line to make his first appearance of the season after recovering from shoulder surgery as he is named on the bench.

Munster: Johne Murphy; Andrew Conway, Keith Earls, Ivan Dineen, Simon Zebo; JJ Hanrahan, Cathal Sheridan; James Cronin, Damien Varley, John Ryan; Donncha O’Callaghan, Dave Foley; Peter O’Mahony (Capt.), Sean Dougall, Paddy Butler. Replacements: Mike Sherry, David Kilcoyne, Stephen Archer, Paul O’Connell, CJ Stander, Duncan Williams, Ian Keatley, Felix Jones.