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Munster v Dragons: Teams
At Thomond Park Stadium, Saturday 22 September, kick-off 8pm
Munster will certainly not lack for experience at half-back on Saturday with Ronan O'Gara and Peter Stringer paired together for the first time in 19 months.
It will be Stringer's first start for Munster in nearly a year. Between them, O'Gara and Stringer have amassed almost 450 competitive appearances, with the latter set to win a remarkable 226th cap on Saturday.
Injuries sustained in last week's game against Ulster have ruled Luke O'Dea and James Coughlan out while Ivan Dineen and Denis Hurley succumbed to illness this week, forcing Rob Penney to ring the changes.
Ian Keatley comes in for Hurley at full-back - a position he occupied for the latter end of the game last weekend - while the loss of O'Dea, who was in a rich vein of form, is softened by the availability of international Simon Zebo.
Paddy Butler finds himself anchoring the scrum, while after six games on the bounce Casey Laulala and Sean Dougall are given a break. Keith Earls comes in for Laulala in the centres with Niall Ronan back from injury to replace Dougall.
Meanwhile, Newport Gwent Dragons head coach Darren Edwards has named his side as he looks to claim the region's first win at Thomond Park since 2004.
Back-rower Tom Brown and centre Ashley Smith, who will make the 99th start of his career for the Welsh club, both grace the starting line-up for the first time this season.
Munster have won their last three encounters with the Dragons, whilst the Newport Gwent side have won just once on their travels, that being their very first visit to Thomond Park eight years ago.
Munster: 15 Ian Keatley, 14 Doug Howlett (c), 13 Keith Earls, 12 James Downey, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Ronan O'Gara, 9 Peter Stringer, 8 Paddy Butler, 7 Niall Ronan, 6 Dave O'Callaghan, 5 Billy Holland, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Mike Sherry, 1 Marcus Horan. Replacements: 16 Damien Varley, 17 Wian du Preez, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Dave Foley, 20 Tommy O'Donnell, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Danny Barnes, 23 JJ Hanrahan.
Dragons: Dan Evans, Will Harries , Adam Hughes, Ashley Smith, Tom Prydie, Lewis Robling, Jonathan Evans; Phil Price, Steve Jones (c), Dan Way, Ian Nimmo, Adam Jones, Dan Lydiate, Jevon Groves, Tom Brown.
Replacements: Sam Parry, Aaron Coundley, Tim Ryan, Toby Faletau Lewis Evans, Liam Davies, Andy Tuilagi. Pat Leach.
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