Munster are back in Magners League action on Friday night as they take on Glasgow Warriors at Firhill (kick-off 7.30pm). The province’s coach Declan Kidney has named a 26-man squad for the fixture, with ten members of Ireland’s World Cup panel included.
Those ten World Cup players are John Hayes, Marcus Horan, Tony Buckley, Frankie Sheahan, Jerry Flannery, Donncha O’Callaghan, Denis Leamy, Alan Quinlan, Peter Stringer and Brian Carney. Buckley, Sheahan, Quinlan, Stringer and Carney all saw action in Munster’s 16-3 league defeat to the Ospreys on October 14.
In the league table Munster are one position and one point better off than Friday’s opponents, but the Warriors have won their last two games, against Leinster and Connacht, while Munster have lost their last two. Coincidentally, the Scots suffered their losses against the Cardiff Blues, the side that ended Munster’s six game unbeaten Magners League, and the Ospreys, who got the better of Kidney’s charges last time out.
When the sides met last, in the final round of games last season, Munster won 38-20 at Musgrave Park but it has been three years since Munster won in Glasgow. A last-gasp drop goal from Ronan O’Gara saw Munster pinch a 28-26 victory back then.
O’Gara will sit out Friday’s game as will squad captain Paul O’Connell. O’Gara is still hampered by a knee injury picked up in the latter stages of the World Cup pool stages, while O’Connell sustained a slight back strain in training. However, Kidney is confident both players will be fit for consideration for next week’s game against Edinburgh at Musgrave Park.
Also in the squad for the Glasgow game is fit-again centre Barry Murphy, who has shown good form for UL Bohemians recently, and winger Anthony Horgan, who has shaken off a hamstring injury.
The Munster starting line-up and replacements for Friday’s clash will be confirmed on Thursday afternoon, in order to allow those not involved in the matchday squad to be available to their clubs, if required, for the first weekend of the AIB League.
MUNSTER Squad (v Glasgow): Forwards (14) – John Hayes, Federico Pucciariello, Marcus Horan, Tony Buckley, Frankie Sheahan, Jerry Flannery, Mick O’Driscoll, Donncha O’Callaghan, Mark Melbourne, Denis Leamy, James Coughlan, Anthony Foley, David Wallace, Alan Quinlan.
Backs (12) – Peter Stringer, Tomas O’Leary, Paul Warwick, Jeremy Manning, Lifeimi Mafi, Rua Tipoki, Kieran Lewis, Barry Murphy, Anthony Horgan, Brian Carney, Ian Dowling, Shaun Payne.