19 May, 11:13
There are six uncapped players in the Ireland squad for the summer tour to North America that was named this morning. An Emerging Ireland squad has also been selected for the Tblisi Cup in Georgia.
Tomas O'Leary, a noted scrum half, could be thrust into a midfield role for Munster in Saturday's Heineken Cup quarter-final against Perpignan.
Coach Declan Kidney sprung a bit of a selection surprise when naming the 22-year-old O'Leary at outside centre for last weekend's Celtic League trip to Llanelli. Unfortunately, that game was called off due to a waterlogged pitch so Kidney's plans to use the Ireland "A" scrum half in his midfield - alongside Trevor Halstead - may have been shelved.
But at Tuesday's press conference, Kidney, who has named an initial 25-man squad for the clash with the Catalans, was giving little away about who exactly would take over the number 13 shirt from the injured Barry Murphy.
With Mike Mullins (Achilles tendon) and Christian Cullen (shoulder) both back from long-term injuries, Rob Henderson seemingly in from the cold, and O'Leary and usual winger John Kelly also options for a centre berth, Kidney has more backline options available to him than he has had all season.
He said: "We have a lot of contenders for the place (at outside centre). Mikey Mullins and Rob Henderson, who hadn't managed to clear a hamstring injury, have come back into the frame and Tomas has looked well there in training. It's really a case of being spoilt for choice.
"We took a good look at our options in training today and will have another look at it on Thursday. It's between those three."
All will be revealed at noon on Friday when Kidney announces his team and replacements.
MUNSTER SQUAD (v Perpignan):
Backs (11) - Christian Cullen, Shaun Payne, John Kelly, Mike Mullins, Rob Henderson, Trevor Halstead, Ian Dowling, Jeremy Manning, Ronan O'Gara, Tomas O'Leary, Peter Stringer.
Forwards (14) - Marcus Horan, John Hayes, Federico Pucciariello, Jerry Flannery, Denis Fogarty, Paul O'Connell, Donncha O'Callaghan, Trevor Hogan, Mick O'Driscoll, Denis Leamy, John O'Sullivan, David Wallace, Stephen Keogh, Anthony Foley (capt).