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Magners Preview: Munster v Ulster

Magners Preview: Munster v Ulster

The reigning Celtic League champions against the Heineken Cup holders – what a way to welcome the rest of Ireland’s international contingent to the Magners League.

…Munster’s David Wallace drives into his former Ireland colleague David Humphreys at Musgrave Park last December…

The reigning Celtic League champions against the Heineken Cup holders – what a way to welcome the rest of Ireland’s international contingent to the Magners League.

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MAGNERS LEAGUE: Saturday, September 30

MUNSTER v ULSTER, Musgrave Park, 7.30pm (live Setanta Sports)

**IrishRugby.ie will be running a live match tracker from Musgrave Park**

Team News: Ulster coach Mark McCall has made six changes to his side. Andrew Trimble and Tommy Bowe will start while Bryn Cunningham has been left out of the squad to make way for Mark Bartholomeusz starting at fullback.

Neil Best makes his first Ulster start of this season replacing Stephen Ferris and Ferris drops to the bench. Matt McCullough is back in the starting 15 replacing Tim Barker who has dropped to the bench and Neil McMillan replaces Kieron Dawson and Dawson drops to the bench.

Munster: Christian Cullen; Anthony Horgan, John Kelly, Shaun Payne, Ian Dowling; Ronan O’Gara, Peter Stringer; Marcus Horan, Frankie Sheahan, Federico Pucciariello, Donncha O’Callaghan, Paul O’Connell (capt), Alan Quinlan, David Wallace, Anthony Foley.

Replacements (from): Frankie Roche, Timmy Ryan, Andy Kyriacou, Tim McGann, Brian O’Meara, Tomas O’Leary, Eoghan Hickey, Mossie Lawlor, Trevor Halstead, Ciaran O’Boyle.

Ulster: Mark Bartholomeusz; Tommy Bowe, Paul Steinmetz, Paddy Wallace, Andrew Trimble; David Humphreys, Isaac Boss; Justin Fitzpatrick, Rory Best, Bryan Young, Justin Harrison (capt), Matt McCullough, Neil Best, Neil McMillan, Roger Wilson.

Replacements: Paul Shields, Declan Fitzpatrick, Tim Barker, Stephen Ferris, Kieron Dawson, Kieran Campbell, Roger Wilson.

Referee: Donal Courtney (Ireland)
Touch Judges: Eanna O’Dowd, John Carvill (both Ireland)

Coach Speak: Declan Kidney (Munster) – “Ulster are the number one-ranked Heineken Cup side and are playing well right now. Their performance last time out (against the Ospreys) points up what a good side they are.

“The Magners League is hugely competititve, and it’s difficult to do well if you don’t get something out of your home games. They did the double over us last year, so on the one hand there is an incentive in that for us. But then again, they’ll have no fears about travelling down here.”


December 2001 – Semi-Final – Munster 15 Ulster 9, Lansdowne Road
September 2002 – Ulster 26 Munster 17, Ravenhill
January 2003 – Semi-Final – Munster 42 Ulster 10, Thomond Park
October 2003 – Munster 15 Ulster 16, Musgrave Park
March 2004 – Ulster 36 Munster 13, Ravenhill
November 2004 – Ulster 3 Munster 24, Ravenhill
March 2005 – Munster 21 Ulster 15, Musgrave Park
December 2005 – Munster 17 Ulster 20, Musgrave Park
March 2006 – Ulster 27 Munster 3, Ravenhill


– Munster’s last six league encounters have gone the way of the home side on the day. Munster have won eight of their last nine home matches in all competitions, since losing this equivalent fixture at Musgrave Park last December

– Ulster have lost only one of their last 14 league games – a 20-15 defeat to Edinburgh at Murrayfield, two weekends ago

– Ulster’s single win in their last five matches away from home against fellow Irish sides was in Munster last December

– Ulster achieved the league ‘double’ over Munster in 2005/06, to reverse what happened in 2004/05

– Winger Tommy Bowe has scored a try in each of his last three outings against Munster. His Ireland team-mate, flanker David Wallace, has nabbed two tries in three games against Ulster

– Expect a tight encounter in Cork. Out of the three league games between Munster and Ulster to have been held at Musgrave Park, the winning margins have been: one point, six points and three points