RaboDirect PRO12: Munster take on Scarlets and Connacht tackle Newport Gwent Dragons

Last Updated: 20/12/13 4:24pm

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Munster head into their clash with Scarlets at Musgrave Park on Saturday having won their last seven matches in all competitions.

The Munstermen are currently top the Pro12 table courtesy of suffering only one reversal so far this season.

And having won all four matches they have played against Welsh regions this season, they will fancy their chances of extending that run.

Gerhard van den Heever will make his home debut and Duncan Casey will start his first competitive Munster game.

The pair come into the side as head coach Rob Penney makes 11 changes to the team that beat Perpignan in France last weekend.

Three of the players involved in the winning try at Stade Aime Giral - Denis Hurley, Tommy O'Donnell and JJ Hanrahan - all come into the first XV with Billy Holland returning as captain.

Cork Con fly-half Johnny Holland is amongst the replacements and will be hoping to earn his second Munster cap after his appearance off the bench against Cardiff Blues.

Scarlets head coach Simon Easterby has made nine changes to the side that lost to Clermont.

Liam Williams and centre Gareth Maule are the only remaining backs for the Musgrave Park clash, with Williams moving from full-back to the wing. Gareth Owen returns to full-back with Aled Thomas replacing Rhys Priestland at fly-half and young international Rhodri Williams coming in at scrum-half.

Ken Owens retains his place at hooker with Rob Evans and Jacobie Adriaanse making up the front row in place of Phil John and Samson Lee.

George Earle is replaced at second-row by Richard Kelly with the back row of Josh Turnbull, John Barclay and Rob McCusker remaining unchanged from last weekend's campaign.

Two changes

In the day's other game, bottom side Connacht tackle Newport Gwent Dragons having lost all three games they have played against Welsh opponents this season.

Connacht boss Pat Lam has made two changes to his starting XV for the clash at the Sportsground in Galway.

Gavin Duffy starts on the right wing for his 170th Connacht appearance. The remainder of the back-line remains unchanged for the return to PRO12 action.

Nathan White, who missed last week's game due to illness, represents the only change to the pack. Craig Clarke will captain the side, partnered by Mick Kearney in the second row.

On the bench, 22-year-old Dave Heffernan has been called in as replacement hooker for the unavailable Sean Henry. Academy fly-half and Eagles captain Jack Carty has also been called up.

Meanwhile, Dragons director of rugby Lyn Jones has made five changes to his run-on side.

Jones has made just one change his pack of forwards with newly signed Cory Hill making up the second row alongside skipper Andrew Coombs.

They are joined in the front five by Owen Evans, Sam Parry and international prop Francisco Chaparro. The back row then takes on the familiar sight of Lewis Evans as blindside flanker, Nic Cudd as open side flanker and British and Irish lion Toby Faletau at number eight.

Daniel Evans retains his place as full-back and he is joined in the back three by wingers Will Harries and Hallam Amos. Pat Leach and Ross Wardle, who moves in from the wing, both make up the centre pairing for the men of Gwent.

The half backs are made up of Jason Tovey and Richie Rees steps in as scrum half.

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