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Murray a major loss as Munster face Sarries

WITH Conor Murray ruled out, Munster go into tomorrow’s crucial round 5 clash away to Saracens in the European Champions Cup (ko 1pm). Coach Anthony Foley makes eight changes to the side that started against Zebre last weekend.
After meeting with the specialist for a neck injury sustained against Zebre Conor Murray was ruled out of selection for this weekend’s encounter and the scrumhalf will be reviewed further after the weekend.
Duncan Williams comes in to make his first European start and while it is not clear who would replace the scrum-half had he to be called ashore during the game, the likelihood is that Keith Earls would be asked to fill the number nine role.
Dave O’Callaghan and Earls are named in a European matchday squad for the first time this season while the backline see Denis Hurley return to partner Pat Howard in midfield and Andrew Conway joining Simon Zebo and Felix Jones in the back three.
A clean sweep of changes are made in the front row with James Cronin and BJ Botha packing down on either side of Duncan Casey at loosehead and tighthead respectively.
In the second row Paul O’Connell returns to partner Dave Foley, while in the back row Peter O’Mahony reverts back to blindside with Tommy O’Donnell coming in at openside and CJ Stander continuing at number 8.
Should they make an appearance from the bench this weekend, Keith Earls will win his 100th cap for the province, while Ronan O’Mahony will make his European debut.
Munster: Felix Jones; Andrew Conway, Pat Howard, Denis Hurley, Simon Zebo; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; James Cronin, Duncan Casey, BJ Botha; Dave Foley, Paul O’Connell; Peter O’Mahony Capt., Tommy O’Donnell, CJ Stander.
Replacements: Eusebio Guinazu, John Ryan, Stephen Archer, Billy Holland, Dave O’Callaghan, Ronan O’Mahony, JJ Hanrahan, Keith Earls.
Saracens v Munster, European Champions Cup Round 5, Saturday January 17th at Allianz Park, London – ko 1pm.
This game will be televised on BT Sport with live updates on Twitter: @munsterrugby #SarVMun

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