Conor Murray and Keith Earls return to Munster XV

Rory Best and Ruan Pienaar return to the Ulster squad to face Newport Gwent Dragons

World Cup returnees Conor Murray and Keith Earls will make their first Munster appearances of the season after being named in Anthony Foley's starting line-up to face Edinburgh at Murrayfield on Saturday evening.

In all there are eight changes to the starting XV that defeated Ulster at Thomond Park in the previous round - an all new front row sees Dave Kilcoyne and Duncan Casey come back in with John Ryan making his first start of the season. Donnacha Ryan is another to make his first Munster start of the season and does so partnering Dave Foley in the second row.

Dave O’Callaghan returns at six with captain CJ Stander switching back to number eight.

Conor Murray and Ian Keatley resume their partnership for the first time this season in the half-backs with Francis Saili and Keith Earls forming a new pairing in the midfield.


The only personnel change amongst the back-three sees winger Ronan O’Mahony make his first start of the current campaign. Gerhard van den Heever remains on the right wing and Simon Zebo makes the move to full-back.

Uruguayan international Mario Sagario is again in line to make his first appearance for the province after being named amongst the replacements.

On the injury front, Billy Holland (ankle) has completed his return to play rehabilitation and is expected to play a part in Cork Constitution’s All Ireland League encounter against Young Munster at Tom Clifford Park while squad captain Peter O’Mahony’s knee surgery is expected to take place in a fortnight.

Meanwhile Rory Best and Ruan Pienaar return to the Ulster squad to face Newport Gwent Dragons at Rodney Parade on Sunday.

Les Kiss has made four personnel changes and three positional changes to the team that lost narrowly to Munster last weekend.

Peter Nelson returns to the side at fullback and is joined in the back three by Sammy Arnold and Rory Scholes, who replaces an injured Andrew Trimble. Up front Kyle McCall comes into the team to replace Andrew Warwick at loosehead prop, joining acting captain Rob Herring and Wiehahn Herbst in the front row.

Dan Tuohy joins Franco van der Merwe in the second row, with Stephen Mulholland, who makes his first start for Ulster, named alongside Chris Henry and Robbie Diack in the back row. Diack returns to the starting line up having recovered from a muscle tear in his thigh sustained against Treviso on October 2nd.

Ulster skipper, Best, will play his first game for the province since May when he comes off the bench.World Cup semi-finalist Pienaar is also named with Ian Humphreys and Craig Gilroy as backline cover.

Munster: Simon Zebo; Gerhard van den Heever, Keith Earls, Francis Saili, Ronan O'Mahony; Ian Keatley, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Duncan Casey, John Ryan; Donnacha Ryan, Dave Foley; Dave O'Callaghan, Jack O'Donoghue, CJ Stander - capt.

Replacements: Niall Scannell, James Cronin, Mario Sagario, Robin Copeland, Jordan Coghlan, Tomás O’Leary, Rory Scannell, Denis Hurley.

Ulster: Peter Nelson; Rory Scholes, Darren Cave, Stuart McCloskey, Sammy Arnold; Paddy Jackson, Paul Marshall; Kyle McCall, Rob Herring (captain), Wiehahn Herbst; Dan Tuohy, Franco van der Merwe; Robbie Diack, Chris Henry, Stephen Mulholland.

Replacements: Rory Best, Ricky Lutton, Bronson Ross, Lewis Stevenson, Sean Reidy, Ruan Pienaar, Ian Humphreys, Craig Gilroy.