Familiar pair to pull the Strings for Munster
7:10pm Thursday 20th September 2012 in Sport
MUNSTER will roll back the years against Newport Gwent Dragons on Saturday night when they pair Peter Stringer and Ronan O’Gara at half-back.
Stringer, 34, has not started for Munster since the RaboDirect Pro12 clash at Edinburgh last September.
He spent last season on loan at Saracens and Newcastle in the Aviva Premiership but returns against the Dragons to make his 226th appearance for his province.
O’Gara, 35, will be looking to impress after seeing Ian Keatley impressing at fly-half.
The experienced pair have not joined forces from the first whistle in 19 months.
The midfield partnership of James Downey and Casey Laulala, which was impressive in defeat to Ulster in Belfast last weekend, is broken up.
The former Cardiff Blues centre is rested this weekend with Keith Earls wearing 13 alongside Downey.
Ireland flyer Simon Zebo returns on the left wing with New Zealand great Doug Howlett skippering the side from the other flank.
Munster field a strong front five with locks Donncha O’Callaghan and Billy Holland packing down behind Marcus Horan, Mike Sherry and BJ Botha.
Munster: I Keatley, D Howlett (captain), K Earls, J Downey, S Zebo, R O’Gara, P Stringer, M Horan, M Sherry, BJ Botha, Donncha O’Callaghan, B Holland, Dave O’Callaghan, N Ronan, P Butler. Replacements: D Varley, W du Preez, S Archer, D Foley, T O’Donnell, C Murray, D Barnes, JJ Hanrahan.