MUNSTER captain Peter O’Mahony makes his first appearance of the campaign on Friday night at Musgrave Park, 7.35pm, when they face Ospreys in the Guinness PRO14 League.
The Reds have named their strongest side to date for the Cork clash with O’Mahony joined by fellow returning international Andrew Conway while Irish internationals Joey Carbery and Tadhg Beirne make their first starts for the province this evening.
Another player making his firsts start of the season is Chris Cloete who makes a welcome return in the back row with the flanker out of action since February due to forearm and groin injuries.
There are 11 changes in total to the side beaten by Glasgow in Scotstoun last week.
Coach Johann van Graan said earlier in the week that he would be rotating players in and out of the squad to rest them with Rory Scannell being one of those players.
Full-back Mike Haley and winger Darren Sweetnam keep their places this week with Conway completing the back three.
Dan Goggin comes into the side at inside-centre in place of Scannell with Sammy Arnold at 13 as Duncan Williams and Carbery form the half-back pairing.
James Cronin starts at loosehead after a solid display last weekend in Scotland and is joined in the front row by Rhys Marshall and Stephen Archer come into the front row.
Darren O’Shea captained Munster A to an opening day Celtic Cup win last week and is rewarded with a place in the second row alongside first-time starter Beirne.
Arno Botha is the only forward to keep his place in the side and is joined in the back row by captain O’Mahony and Cloete.
All Ireland camogie champions Cork will be special guests at the clash along with the O’Duffy Cup and the squad and trophy will be presented to the crowd at half-time.
MUNSTER: Mike Haley; Andrew Conway, Sammy Arnold, Dan Goggin, Darren Sweetnam; Joey Carbery, Duncan Williams; James Cronin, Rhys Marshall, Stephen Archer; Tadhg Beirne, Darren O’Shea; Peter O’Mahony (C), Chris Cloete, Arno Botha.
Replacements: Mike Sherry, Dave Kilcoyne, John Ryan, Jean Kleyn, Tommy O’Donnell, James Hart, Ian Keatley, Jaco Taute.