RaboDirect PRO12: Team news ahead of Saturday's matches

Last Updated: 01/11/13 10:04pm

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James Coughlan: Is amongst the replacements for Munster after being released by Ireland

James Coughlan: Is amongst the replacements for Munster after being released by Ireland

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Richard Fussell replaces Dan Biggar at full-back for the Ospreys visit to Munster on Saturday in the RaboDirect Pro12.

Jonathan Spratt captains the side from outside centre in the absence of Alun Wyn Jones.

Meanwhile, Rob Penney has made eight changes to the Munster side that beat Glasgow last week.

Munster have been boosted by the return of Donncha O'Callaghan and James Coughlan from international duty for the top of the table clash and O'Callaghan starts while Coughlan is among the replacements.

Elsewhere in the forwards, Penney has named a completely different front-row as Dave Kilcoyne, Damien Varley and BJ Botha start with Dave Foley and Dave O'Callaghan also coming into the side. Varley captains the side for the second time this season.

Ian Keatley comes back in at out-half ahead of last week's man of the match JJ Hanrahan who moves to the replacements.

Felix Jones returns at full-back after a slight ankle sprain ruled him out of action last weekend, with Johne Murphy moving to the right wing in place of Andrew Conway who is suffering from bruised ribs.

Connacht v Glasgow

Dougie Hall will make his 150th league appearance when he starts for Glasgow Warriors away to Connacht. The experienced hooker replaces Pat MacArthur for the trip to Galway.

Niko Matawalu comes in for Sean Maitland at full-back, while Byron McGuigan and DTH van der Merwe continue on either wing.

The Warriors have won all three of their away games in the Pro12 this season and have won on two of their last three visits to Ireland.

Meanwhile, Connacht midfielder Dave McSharry returns to the fray for his first start in ten months and is named at inside centre. The 23-year-old marked his return from injury last month by coming on as a replacement in the 33-6 Heineken Cup victory over Zebre.

The replacements bench includes veteran tighthead prop Nathan White who returns after a three-week absence due to injury. Mick Kearney is also included in the match day squad and could earn his first appearance of the season.

Scarlets v Ulster

The Scarlets have made six changes to their starting XV to face Ulster at Parc y Scarlets.

With seven of the Scarlets squad on international duty, Gareth Owen returns to full fitness at full-back. There is a new centre partnership in place with Gareth Maule and Adam Warren joining up in place of Jon Davies and Scott Williams.

Jordan Williams returns to the wing after overcoming a minor shoulder sprain, Kirby Myhill gets a start at hooker and Samson Lee returns to tight head prop after a two-week suspension.

Meanwhile, Ulster boss Mark Anscombe, has made eight personnel changes and three positional switches to the team that recorded a bonus point win over Cardiff last Friday.

Johann Muller misses the match having suffered a calf injury, so Jared Payne is named as captain, a role he last fulfilled in the pre-season win over Leinster.

There is a whole new second-row with Lewis Stevenson and Neil McComb starting, while in the back row, Roger Wilson moves from the back of the scrum to openside, Robbie Diack keeps his place at blindside and Nick Williams returns at number eight.

Cardiff Blues v Treviso

Flanker Josh Navidi captains a much-changed Cardiff Blues against Benetton Treviso at the Arms Park.

Cardiff boss Phil Davies makes ten changes from the side that was defeated away at Ravenhill to Ulster last week with many of the squad now away on international duty with Wales.

A new-look front row sees Sam Hobbs, Kristian Dacey and Taufa'ao Filise pack down while Lou Reed is called up to partner Filo Paulo in the second row.

Navidi will lead the side from the back row where a fit-again Andries Pretorius comes in at blindside flanker.

Meanwhile, Treviso boss Franco Smith has made six changes to his starting line-up. Amongst the backs there are four changes with Michele Campagnaro replacing Luca Morisi at outside centre and Andrea Pratichetti starting on the left wing in place of Christian Loamanu.

New Zealander Mat Berquist comes in at fly-half at the expense of James Ambrosini while Tobias Botes takes over from Fabio Semenzato at scrum-half.

In the pack, Robert Barbieri is preferred at openside flanker to Alessandro Zanni and Valerio Bernabò takes over from Antonio Pavanello in the second row and as captain.

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RaboDirect PRO12 2013/14 R7

Ian Keatley did most of the damage with the boot for Munster

Munster back on top

Munster recorded their first win in six meetings with the Ospreys to maintain their lead at the top of the PRO12 table.

Aled Thomas: kicked three penalties for Scarlets

Scarlets end Ulster win-streak

Ulster's four-game winning run was brought to a halt in a 17-9 defeat by Scarlets at Parc y Scarlets.

Duncan Weir kicked four penalties and a conversion for Glasgow

Glasgow win in Galway

PRO12 high flyers Glasgow Warriors turned in an assured display in their 19-12 victory over Connacht in Galway.

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