Munster coach Declan Kidney is hopeful that Brian Carney will be available for selection for Saturday’s Heineken Cup showdown with Llanelli Scarlets, having named the winger in his initial 25-man squad.
Carney missed last Friday’s Magners League defeat to Leinster due to a knee injury but along with John Kelly and Anthony Horgan, he has been added the squad from the Leinster game for Saturday’s meeting with the Scarlets (Stradey Park, kick-off 5.30pm).
Kidney said: “Brian Carney trained fully today (Tuesday) and we’ll just have to see. Unless there is any reaction to it, then he should be available.”
Paul Warwick and Barry Murphy, who both played in UL Bohemians’ AIB League win over Galwegians last Saturday, have retained their places in the squad, along with back rower James Coughlan who had a big influence in Dolphin’s league victory over Lansdowne.
But adding to Munster’s injury list is flanker Niall Ronan, who is nursing a hamstring injury, while lock and captain Paul O’Connell (back strain) is four weeks away from a return.
Wary of the potential of the Scarlets, who beat Saracens in the EDF Energy Cup last weekend, Kidney admitted: “Llanelli are always a side that we would respect. They beat us in last year’s competition in Stradey. Our record in Stradey over the years hasn’t been great in both Magners League and Heineken Cup and we know that they’re capable of putting 50 points on anybody on their day.
“They’ve lost their first two Heineken Cup games and won’t want to go three on the trot. They’re going to turn up alright.”
MUNSTER Squad (v Llanelli Scarlets): Backs (13) – Shaun Payne, Kieran Lewis, Brian Carney, Anthony Horgan, John Kelly, Rua Tipoki, Lifeimi Mafi, Ian Dowling, Ronan O’Gara, Peter Stringer, Gerry Hurley, Paul Warwick, Barry Murphy.
Forwards (12) – Marcus Horan, Jerry Flannery, John Hayes, Donncha O’Callaghan, Mick O’Driscoll, Donnacha Ryan, David Wallace, Denis Leamy, Frankie Sheahan, Tony Buckley, Anthony Foley, James Coughlan.