Munster make eight changes for sold-out clash with Leinster at Thomond Park

Leinster change six for St Stephen’s Day game that will see Richardt Strauss make his 100th appearance

Munster coach Anthony Foley has made eight changes to his side as they look to put an end to a three-match losing streak in the sold-out Guinness Pro 12 interpro clash against Leinster at Thomond Park on St Stephen's Day (5.0pm).

The changes from the defeat away to Glasgow are split evenly between backs and forwards, including a change at halfback with Ian Keatley and Duncan Williams taking over from JJ Hanrahan and Conor Murray, the international scrumhalf being one of four players unavailable because of the national player management programme. Simon Zebo, Paul O'Connell and Peter O'Mahony also sit out the game.

Felix Jones returns to captain the side from fullback in place of Johne Murphy, who is named on the bench after suffering a broken nose early in last weekend's game at Scotstoun. The other change in the backline sees Ronan O'Mahony makes his first start since Munster's last win, against Ulster last month, and he takes over from Zebo on the left wing.

In the pack, Duncan Casey takes over from Kevin O'Byrne at hooker, while Donncha O'Callaghan joins Billy Holland in place of O'Connell.

There are two changes in the backrow, with CJ Stander coming in for O'Mahony at blindside flanker and Tommy O'Donnell starting at openside in place of Sean Dougall.

Hooker Richardt Strauss will make his 100th appearance for Leinster in the game at Thomond Park and is one of six changes in personnel with a number of positional changes also included in Matt O'Connor's team.

Michael Bent and Tadhg Furlong complete the frontrow with Strauss, but Mike McCarthy will lock down behind the trio with Kane Douglas beside him in the secondrow.

In the backrow, with Kevin McLaughlin out injured, Dominic Ryan comes in for his 11th start in 12 games so far this season. Shane Jennings has shown no ill effects from the game last week against Connacht, his first since injuring his hamstring against the same opposition in September, and captains the side at openside flanker. Jack Conan completes the backrow.

There are two personnel changes in the backs with Darragh Fanning and Gordon D’Arcy coming in from the start.

With Fanning coming onto the right wing, Zane Kirchner moves to fullback in place of Rob Kearney, with Dave Kearney continuing on the left wing.

Gordon D'Arcy comes into the inside centre slot with Luke Fitzgerald continuing at 13.

The halfback partnership consists of Isaac Boss and Ian Madigan. Madigan is selected at 10 for the first time since his man of the match performance away to Zebre in October.

Munster have confirmed that the match is a sell out with no tickets available at the ground on the day. It is Munster’s first Pro 12 full house of the season and third altogether after the European encounters with Saracens and Clermont.

MUNSTER (v Leinster, Friday, Thomond Park, 5.0pm): Felix Jones (capt); Andrew Conway, Pat Howard, Denis Hurley, Ronan O'Mahony; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; John Ryan, Duncan Casey, Stephen Archer; Donncha O'Callaghan, Billy Holland; CJ Stander, Tommy O'Donnell, Robin Copeland.

Replacements: Kevin O'Byrne, Eusebio Guinazu, BJ Botha, Dave O'Callaghan, Paddy Butler, Neil Cronin, JJ Hanrahan, Johne Murphy.

LEINSTER: Zane Kirchner; Darragh Fanning, Luke Fitzgerald, Gordon D'Arcy, Dave Kearney; Ian Madigan, Isaac Boss; Michael Bent, Richardt Strauss, Tadhg Furlong; Mike McCarthy, Kane Douglas; Dominic Ryan, Shane Jennings (capt), Jack Conan.

Replacements: Aaron Dundon, Maks Van Dyk, Jamie Hagan, Tom Denton, Jordi Murphy, Luke McGrath, Jimmy Gopperth, Noel Reid.