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In Pics: Munster Press Conference

In Pics: Munster Press Conference

Click here for photos as Declan Kidney and his Munster players answer questions from the press at Musgrave Park.

Pictured above: Munster coach Declan Kidney at Tuesday’s press conference.

Kidney, asked about Munster’s phenomenal support, said: “It’s a huge honour to have so many people wanting us to win, but fans can’t make a tackle or score a point. We’re going to have to take that responsibility upon ourselves and try to give them something to cheer us on.”

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Hooker Jerry Flannery pictured at the press conference. Biarritz flanker Imanol Harinordoquy reckons the battle between Flannery and the Basque side’s number 2 Benoit August will be key.

The French international said: “The Heineken Cup will be won and lost at the lineout and we will do a lot of work on that this week – including video sessions. Our lineout was not perfect (last week) against Montpellier, but we did not try all of our combinations as we did not want to give anything away to Munster.”

August added: “We tried out a few things with Munster in mind and it was probably a good thing they did not all work out. That will enable us to stay focused and sort out the details in training this weekend before we fly to Cardiff.”

Munster captain Anthony Foley will be lucky to keep a hold of his winners’ medal if the men in red prosper on Saturday – according to one of the province’s former foreign stars John Langford.

The 6ft 7in Australian, who played 17 times for Munster in the Heineken Cup between 1999 and 2001, told The Evening Echo: “Yeah, I’m trying to organise a trip back to Ireland in the summer for some of the lads’ weddings and a trip to (Anthony) Foley’s place is definitely on the cards.

“If they win – and I expect them to do – and his medal is lying around it might just find its way onto the flight back to Sydney with me. Although I expect that if I try that Axel will have the airport police warned in plenty of time!”

Munster and Ireland locks Donncha O’Callaghan and Paul O’Connell share a joke at the press conference.

On the subject of Saturday’s opponents Biarritz, Declan Kidney surmised: “When you look at the resources Biarritz have, it’s brilliant to be where we are. Theirs is a team built on winning trophies – our job is to develop players for the national team and do as well in international competition as we can, so the teams are coming from slightly different angles.”

Paul O’Connell injured his ankle against the Ospreys on May 5 but is expected to be fit for Saturday’s Millennium Stadium clash. After training on Tuesday, O’Connell said: “During training I was able to run, I was able to jump in the lineout and I came through fine. Again, I will keep my fingers crossed that I wake up tomorrow (Wednesday) feeling as good as I do now. If I’m anle to train on Thursday then everything should be fine.”

**All photos by Donall Farmer of Inpho Photography**