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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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Guinness PRO12 Table
|Sunday 23rd November|
|Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff Blues|
|Treviso 24 - 24 Leinster|
|Friday 21st November|
|Ulster 25 - 16 Ospreys|
|Connacht 43 - 3 Zebre|
|Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow Warriors|
|Dragons 12 - 38 Munster|
|Saturday 1st November|
|Ulster 23 - 6 Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Scarlets 28 - 13 Zebre|
|Cardiff Blues 24 - 28 Munster|
|Friday 31st October|
|Ospreys 26 - 11 Connacht|
|Glasgow 17 - 9 Benetton Treviso|
|Leinster 33 - 8 Edinburgh|
|Sunday 12th October|
|Ospreys 26 - 15 Cardiff Blues|
|Saturday 11th October|
|Ulster 29 - 9 Glasgow|
|Zebre 3 - 20 Leinster|
|Edinburgh 24 - 10 Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Friday 10th October|
|Munster 17 - 6 Scarlets|
|Benetton Treviso 6 - 9 Connacht|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com