Picturedabove: Ronan O'Gara, the Heineken Cup's record points scorer, talkswith Munster coach Declan Kidney at Wednesday's training session atTemple Hill in Cork.
Munster,the Pool 4 leaders, meet the Cardiff Blues this Sunday at the Arms Park(kick-off 1pm). Kidney is monitoring injuries to Barry Murphy, David Wallace, Federico Pucciariello and John Kelly ahead of the Welsh trip.
He said: "We'll see how they've reacted after training and try to makesome final decisions closer to the weekend. That's the nature of itnow. Ideally you'd be naming out full teams at the start of the weekbut when you have the games week in, week out you just have to waituntil mid-week to see how fellows are."
Italian international prop Federico Pucciariello arrives for training in Cork. The 31-year-old, who was born in Rosario in Argentina and now lives in Limerick, sustained a hamstring injury during the second half of Munster's Magners League win over Connacht last week.
But he is expected to be fit to line out on the loosehead side of theMunster scrum against Cardiff. The well-travelled Pucciariello has played for four different teams in Europe - Narbonne and Gloucester in the Challenge Cup, and Bourgoin and Munster in the Heineken Cup.
A heartening sight for Munster and Ireland fans alike - hooker Jerry Flannery in training in Cork. The Limerick man is working his way back to full fitness after having shoulder surgery.
He has not played for Munster since last May's league win over Cardiff at Thomond Park, but is edging closer to a return.
Ronan O'Gara has so far tallied up 786 points over ten seasons of Heineken Cup rugby. TheSan Diego-born out-half has also bagged 344 points in theCeltic/Magners League and Celtic Cup, taking the Munster points scoringrecord to a whopping 1130 points.
With those kind of statistics, he will certainly be a marked man at the Arms Park. Cardiff Blues captain Xavier Rush admitted:"We've got a massive hurdle to clear. Munster proved they were the best
"Their top players were in good shape in the autumn internationals soas a team they will be a very hard prospect for us on Sunday. RonanO'Gara, at number 10, directs their game plan and he is a key man for them."
Former Springbok Trevor Halstead stretchesbefore the session at Temple Hill. The 30-year-old centre wrote hisname into Munster folklore last May by scoring in the Heineken Cupfinal win over Biarritz - he also dotted down tries against Castres andLeinster on the road to the Cardiff decider.
Halstead showed good form as a replacement against Connacht last week, setting up Christian Cullen for the match-winning try.
Munster and Ireland scrum half Peter Stringer shares a joke at training. The diminutive number 9 is the joint-fourth most-capped player in Heineken Cup history with 63 games under his belt. His team-mate John Kelly has also lined out 63 times in Europe's premier tournament.
Ronan O'Gara pointsthe way for Munster. Giving his thoughts on the Cardiff team atWednesday's press conference, coach Kidney said: "They've got big men in key positionsaround the park and they're not conceding many points. The fact thatBen Blair is taking the place kicks is now taking the pressure off theout-half (Nick) Robinson, whose game has come on a tonne.
"They've beaten Bourgoin away and lost narrowly to Leicester despitebeing down a man in the closing minutes. I think they'll backthemselves against us, and we certainly will give them all the respect they deserve."
**All photos by Billy Stickland of Inpho Photography**