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In Pics: Munster 18 Leicester 26

In Pics: Munster 18 Leicester 26

Click here for photos of Munster’s pre-season friendly defeat to Leicester Tigers, their Heineken Cup pool opponents, at Musgrave Park on Friday.

Pictured above: Friday night saw Frankie Sheahan make his first start for Munster since last October due to a long-term neck injury. Two first half tries from the hooker’s Ireland colleague Geordan Murphy inspired Leicester to an eight-point win over an experimental Munster side at Musgrave Park.

Young flanker Jordan Crane, who captained England at this summer’s IRB Under-21 World Cup, is caught in a tackle in Cork. Leicester coach Pat Howard named 11 internationals in his starting side, including Murphy, former Munster out-half Paul Burke and ex-Leinster lock Leo Cullen.

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Lock Donnacha Ryan, who helped Shannon retain their AIB League Division One title last season, tries to fend off the challenges of Paul Burke and Leo Cullen.

Talking to the press after his side’s defeat, Munster coach Declan Kidney said: “In the circumstances, I thought we played quite well, the young guys stuck with it, and it was a good pre-season application. We have had only one game, but it was better to have a game of quality like that rather than maybe two of lesser substance.”

Munster will not have their Irish international players back until the end of next month – they fly out next weekend for a training camp in Poland.

Paul Burke and Tigers’ captain Daryl Gibson tackle Munster’s Ireland ‘A’ winger Ian Dowling.

New Munster recruit Chris Wyatt beats Leo Cullen to a lineout ball.

Geordan Murphy, whose two tries helped Leicester go into a 14-3 lead after 21 minutes, is tackled by Ian Dowling and try-scoring flanker James Coughlan. Out-half Jeremy Manning was Munster’s other scorer as he bagged a try, a conversion and two penalties – the New Zealand-born youngster scored all of the province’s points in the first half. The visitors led 14-13 at the break.

Cork Constitution centre Tom Gleeson brings Leicester full-back Sam Vesty’s progress to a halt in Cork. Gleeson and former Leinster and Connacht centre James Downey, who was one of two club players to start against Leicester, look set to form Munster’s midfield partnership when they travel to Cardiff for their Magners League opener on Friday.

South African international Trevor Halstead (knee) and broken leg victim victim Barry Murphy are recovering from injury.

**All photos by Lorraine O’Sullivan of Inpho Photography**