Pro12 preview: Top of the table Ulster host Munster as both sides name heavily changed lineups

A combined thirteen changes from last week's starting sides

Pro12 preview: Top of the table Ulster host Munster as both sides name heavily changed lineups

Duncan Williams Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Munster have made five changes to their starting 15 as they travel to the Kingspan stadium this evening to take on top of the table Ulster in today's 7.05pm kick-off.

Jack O'Donoghue has come in at no.8, with Ian Keatley, Ronan O'Mahony and Andrew Conway coming it to the backline, while Duncan Williams returns to the side to make his 100th Pro 12 appearance.

There could be two potential debuts as hooker Vincent O'Brien and scrum-half Abrie Griesel start the game as replacements, hoping to take advantage of the absent internationals preparing for the upcoming clash with the All Blacks.

Ulster Boss Les Kiss has made some changes of his own, with eight changes from last week's side that beat Exeter 19-18.

Dan Tuohy and Wiehahn Herbst return to make their first appearance of the season following lengthy injuries. Tommy Bowe and Craig Gilroy are back in the starting side, while Darren Cave and Luke Marshall start in midfield. They've retained both half-backs as Paddy Jackson and Ruan Peinaar.

It's that time of the year when younger players, and older squad members, get a chance to impress in the eyes of their coach and supporters, as they look to stake a claim for a starting spot while the international players are away.

Not an easy task considering both those sets of players signed off with wins in the Champions Cup last weekend, but as Alan Quinlan pointed out in his Facebook Live chat earlier today, a win over local rivals is a great way for the youngsters to put their names in their manager's mind. You can watch the chat in full right here.