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Magners Preview: Glasgow v Munster

Magners Preview: Glasgow v Munster

Boosted by the return of almost all of the Ireland internationals, Munster will hope to get back to winning ways and maintain their impressive form on Scottish soil when they clash with Glasgow at Firhill Arena tonight.

MAGNERS LEAGUE: Friday, October 26

GLASGOW WARRIORS v MUNSTER, Firhill, 7.30pm (live Setanta Sports 2)

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Team News: Six forwards who saw action for Ireland during the recent World Cup will return to provincial duty tonight for Munster when take on Glasgow Warriors.

Props John Hayes and Marcus Horan, hooker Jerry Flannery, lock Donncha O’Callaghan and back rowers David Wallace and Denis Leamy could all make their first appearances of the season for Munster at Firhill.

Hayes, O’Callaghan and Wallace will definitely do so as all three have been named in the Munster starting line-up, along with Frankie Sheahan and Peter Stringer who both came on as second half replacements in the defeat last time out to the Ospreys.

Flannery, Horan and Leamy will be on a bench that also includes Garryowen and Ireland ‘A’ winger Keith Earls.

In all, coach Declan Kidney has made eight changes – two positional – to the side that lost 16-3 to the Ospreys on October 14. The positional switches see Rua Tipoki move to number 13 with Lifeimi Mafi selected at inside centre and the return of Hayes sees Tony Buckley switch to loosehead prop.

Elsewhere, O’Callaghan takes over in the second row from Mark Melbourne, who is named on the bench, and Niall Ronan earns a well-deserved breather with Wallace getting the openside berth.

Meanwhile, Lome Fa’atau will make his Glasgow debut tonight alongside Scotland flanker Kelly Brown. Glasgow welcome back another two players from the World Cup, centre Andrew Henderson and out-half Dan Parks, both of whom helped take Scotland to the quarter-final stages.

Samoan international Fa’atau, who signed for the Warriors during the summer from Wellington Hurricanes, brings with him a reputation of being one of the most exciting wingers in world rugby.

Fa’atau reached the final of last seasons Super XIV with the Hurricanes and became the tournaments top try scorer in the process.

Glasgow: Bernardo Stortoni; Lome Fa’atau, Andrew Henderson, Daryl Gibson, Thom Evans; Dan Parks, Chris O’Young; Ed Kalman, Fergus Thomson, Moray Low, Andy Newman, Alastair Kellock (capt), Stevie Swindall, John Barclay, Kelly Brown.

Replacements: Eric Milligan, Michael Collins, Dan Turner, Johnnie Beattie, Sam Pinder, Scott Barrow, Hefin O’Hare.

Munster: Shaun Payne; Brian Carney, Rua Tipoki, Lifeimi Mafi, Ian Dowling; Paul Warwick, Peter Stringer; Tony Buckley, Frankie Sheahan, John Hayes; Donncha O’Callaghan, Mick O’Driscoll, Alan Quinlan, David Wallace, Anthony Foley (capt).

Replacements: Jerry Flannery, Marcus Horan, Mark Melbourne, Denis Leamy, Tomas O’Leary, Jeremy Manning, Keith Earls.

Referee: James Jones (Wales)

Coach Speak: Sean Lineen (Glasgow) – “We’re getting closer to our full strength side. We are developing some real competition for places, which is exactly what you need to drive a team forward.

“We are also getting closer to our European campaign, so I am looking for our boys to really front up against a powerful Munster side.

“It is a 22-man game now, and one of the main things I tried to do for this season was increase quality and depth. When there is genuine competition there is no room for passengers – in the past we perhaps carried a few. Now it’s about how people react to where they are.

“Lome (Fa’atau) has been great. He brings us experience and speed…and a lot of tattoos. But he is a very knowledgeable lad and speaks his mind, which is what you want. He will challenge us as coaches.”

Tony McGahan (Munster defence coach) – “I don’t think we played much more than 20 minutes of decent rugby that night (at home to Cardiff) and a few things went wrong for us against the Ospreys at crucial stages of the game, but I don’t believe we deserved to win either.

“(Dan) Parks is a player we have to watch out for. He had a particularly good World Cup and so too did their centre Andrew Henderson. Both helped steer Scotland to the quarter-final stages.”

Top Scorers: 2007/08 Magners League – Points: Glasgow: Colin Gregor 41; Munster: Paul Warwick 44; Tries: Glasgow: James Eddie, Colin Shaw, Sam Pinder, Johnnie Beattie, Bernardo Stortoni, Moray Low, Hefin O’Hare 1 each; Munster: Paul Warwick 2.


October 24, 2003: Munster 26 Glasgow 10, Musgrave Park
March 26, 2004: Glasgow 12 Munster 37, Hughenden
October 9, 2004: Glasgow 26 Munster 28, Hughenden
February 20, 2005: Munster 25 Glasgow 19, Thomond Park
September 17, 2005: Glasgow 32 Munster 10, Hughenden
February 18, 2006: Munster 20 Glasgow 26, Thomond Park
September 15, 2006: Glasgow 24 Munster 13, Hughenden
May 12, 2007: Munster 38 Glasgow 20, Musgrave Park


– Glasgow Warriors’ only home loss in any competition since September 2006 was a 19-8 defeat to Ulster at Hughenden on January 6 last. Glasgow have beaten Irish opposition in five of the last six occasions they have met

– Munster have slipped to successive defeats in the Magners League to Cardiff and the Ospreys. Munster have won on four of their last five visits to Scotland

– The last three encounters between the two teams have been won by the home side on the day, while Munster’s last win in Glasgow was a 28-26 success at Hughenden on October 9, 2004


October 14 – Ospreys 16 Munster 3

October 5 – Munster 17 Cardiff Blues 19

September 28 – Newport Gwent Dragons 16 Munster 26

September 22 – Munster 26 Llanelli Scarlets 16