Peter O'Mahony returns to Munster duty in Cork on Friday night

Peter O'Mahony returns to Munster duty in Cork on Friday night
Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane

MUNSTER coach Johann van Graan has set down a marker for Munster ahead of their European clash next weekend with the strength of the team he has named for tonight’s clash with Edinburgh at Musgrave Park, 7.35pm.

In contrast, his opposite number, Richard Cockerill has chosen a weakened side for the clash.

Van Graan has pulled no punches by naming club captain Peter O’Mahony, and Conor Murray and Chris Farrell in his lineup.

Many Reds fans will be surprised that Peter O’Mahony — who has come through a very demanding November in the Irish jersey — is playing tonight.

In addition to O’Mahony, van Graan has also called up six other players who were involved with Ireland — Andrew Conway, Keith Earls, Tadhg Beirne and the entire front row of Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell and John Ryan.

Visiting coach Cockerill has a very logical reasoning for not bringing his full side to Cork for tonight’s clash.

“I am not going to pick ten international players so there are ten missing for a start,” said the former Leicester front-row forward.

“The reality is that you could take your best team to Munster and not win. The reality is that the team we take to Munster shouldn’t win but we will prepare as well as we can and go with a mindset to win.”

MUNSTER: M Hailey; A Conway, C Farrell, R Scannell, K Earls; JJ Hanrahan, C Murray; D Kilcoyne, N Scannell, J Ryan, T Beirne, B Holland, P O’Mahony capt, C Cloete, A Botha.

Replacements: K O’Byrne, J Loughman, C Parker, F Wycherley, G Coombes, D Williams, T Bleyendaal, S Arnold.

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