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RaboDirect PRO12 match preview: Munster v Connacht
Munster welcome back Ireland lock Paul O'Connell as they look for their first win in four games against Connacht in Saturday's RaboDirect PRO12 clash.
O'Connell is included in the starting XV for the first time since October having recovered from a back injury.
In contrast to the hosts, who have lost their last three league matches, Connacht arrive with four wins in their last five outings.
There is just one play-off place left in the reach of Munster who must now grapple with Ospreys and Scarlets to make the top four.
Munster benefit from the late kick-off meaning they will know exactly what is expected by the time their game gets underway at Musgrave Park.
The home side make three changes to the team which drew against Ospreys last time out.
The inclusion of O'Connell sees Billy Holland demoted to the bench as Conncha O'Callaghan partners the returning Ireland international at lock.
Sean Dougall is back in the starting line-up having not played since January while Niall Ronan is named in the squad for the first time since November.
Meanwhile, Connacht have made just two changes to the team which defeated Zebre in the last round of fixtures.
Coach Eric Elwood names Dave McSharry in the back line for the first time since January's Heineken Cup clash against Zebre.
George Naoupu enters the fold to join Mick Kearney in the second row in place of Andrew Browne who switches to blindside flanker with John Muldoon starting at number eight.
Munster: 15 Felix Jones, 14 Doug Howlett, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 James Downey, 11 Doug Hurley; 10 Ronan O'Gara, 9 Cathal Sheridan, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Sean Dougall, 6 Tommy O'Donnell, 5 Paul O'Connell, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Damien Varley, 1 David Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Mike Sherry, 17 Wian du Preez, 18 BJ Botha, 19 Billy Holland, 20 Niall Ronan, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 Ian Keatley, 23 Ivan Dineen.
Connacht: 15 Robbie Henshaw, 14 Danie Poolman, 13 Eoin Griffin, 12 Dave McSharry, 11 Gavin Duffy (capt), 10 Dan Parks, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 John Muldoon, 7 Willie Faloon, 6 Andrew Browne, 5 George Naoupu, 4 Mick Kearney, 3 Nathan White, 2 Jason Harris-Wright, 1 Brett Wilkinson.
Replacements: 16 Adrian Flavin, 17 Denis Buckley, 18 Ronan Loughney, 19 Mike McCarthy, 20 Eoin McKeon, 21 Paul O'Donohoe, 22 Miah Nikora, 23 Fetu'u Vainikolo.
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RaboDirect PRO12 Table
|Saturday 6th September|
|TBC||Munster vs Edinburgh|
|TBC||Connacht vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|TBC||Glasgow vs Leinster|
|TBC||Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso|
|TBC||Scarlets vs Ulster|
|TBC||Zebre vs Cardiff Blues|
|Saturday 13th September|
|TBC||Benetton Treviso vs Munster|
|TBC||Edinburgh vs Connacht|
|TBC||Ulster vs Zebre|
|TBC||Leinster vs Scarlets|
|TBC||Cardiff Blues vs Glasgow|
|TBC||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Ospreys|
|Saturday 20th September|
|TBC||Cardiff Blues vs Ulster|
|TBC||Zebre vs Munster|
|TBC||Ospreys vs Edinburgh|
|TBC||Scarlets vs Benetton Treviso|
|TBC||Connacht vs Leinster|
|TBC||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow|
|Saturday 27th September|
|TBC||Leinster vs Cardiff Blues|
|TBC||Munster vs Ospreys|
|TBC||Edinburgh vs Scarlets|
|TBC||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Benetton Treviso|
|TBC||Zebre vs Ulster|
|TBC||Glasgow vs Connacht|
|Saturday 4th October|
|TBC||Leinster vs Munster|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com