Francis Saili in line to make his first appearance of the season against Leinster

Munster host Leo Cullen's side at a sold-out Thomond Park

BY Simon Maguire 12:35 Friday 23 December 2016, 12:35 23 Dec 2016

Munster have named a stong team to take on domestic rivals Leinster at a sold-out Thomond Park in the Guinness PRO12 Championship on St. Stephen's day.

Francis Saili is in line to make his first appearance of the season with James Cronin, Jean Kleyn and Ronan O'Mahony all starting.

The Kiwi centre is fit to play after undergoing shoulder surgery last season. 

James Cronin, Niall Scannell and John Ryan start in the front row, while Jean Kleyn will partner Donnacha Ryan at lock.

Captain Peter O'Mahony, Tommy O'Donnell and CJ Stander make up the back row with Conor Murray and Tyler Bleyendaal the half-back pairing. 

Winger Ronan O'Mahony takes the place of Keith Earls in an otherwise unchanged backline.

The two teams are currently joint top of the PRO12 so there will be more than bragging rights up for grabs. 

Munster:  Simon Zebo; Darren Sweetnam, Jaco Taute, Rory Scannell, Ronan O'Mahony; Tyler Bleyendaal, Conor Murray; James Cronin, Niall Scannell, John Ryan; Jean Kleyn, Donnacha Ryan; Peter O'Mahony (Capt.), Tommy O'Donnell, CJ Stander.

Replacements:  Rhys Marshall, Dave Kilcoyne, Stephen Archer, Billy Holland, Jack O'Donoghue, Duncan Williams, Francis Saili, Andrew Conway.

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