Munster will aim to give their 2006 Heineken Cup-winning captain Anthony Foley a winning send-off on Saturday in his final home match before his retirement, although Glasgow Warriors will be all out to gain their fifth league victory in a row.
MAGNERS LEAGUE: Saturday, May 10
MUNSTER v GLASGOW WARRIORS, Musgrave Park, 5pm (live Setanta Sports Ireland)
Team News: On Saturday Munster supporters will be afforded the opportunity to bid farewell to a legend of provincial, Irish and European rugby when Anthony Foley leads Munster out for the province’s final Magners League game of the season against Glasgow Warriors.
Even though squad captain Paul O’Connell is named in the starting line-up, the soon-to-be-retired Foley will wear the captain’s armband in his 71st and final league game.
In all, Declan Kidney’s selection shows eight changes, one positional, to the side that started last weekend’s dramatic one-point win over Llanelli at Stradey Park.
That positional change see Alan Quinlan switch from blindside to openside flanker to accomodate the inclusion of Donnacha Ryan in the back row.
Ryan, like the rest of the squad, will be hoping to impress and force his way into contention for a place in Munster’s Heineken Cup final squad.
Meanwhile, Glasgow Warriors coach Sean Lineen has confirmed his team for the trip to Cork.
The only change in the starting line-up sees Andrew Henderson return at inside centre, replacing his Scotland international Graeme Morrison who moves to the bench.
Elsewhere in the back-line, Argentinian livewire Bernardo Stortoni completes a full-house having started every competitive game for the Warriors this season.
MUNSTER: Denis Hurley; Anthony Horgan, Lifeimi Mafi, Rua Tipoki, Ian Dowling; Ronan O’Gara, Peter Stringer; Federico Pucciariello, Frankie Sheahan, John Hayes, Mick O’Driscoll, Paul O’Connell, Donnacha Ryan, Alan Quinlan, Anthony Foley (capt).
Replacements: Tony Buckley, Marcus Horan, Donncha O’Callaghan, Denis Leamy, David Wallace, Paul Warwick, Keith Earls.
GLASGOW WARRIORS: Bernardo Stortoni; Lome Fa’atau, Max Evans, Andrew Henderson, Thom Evans; Dan Parks (capt), Colin Gregor; Justin Va’a, Dougie Hall, Moray Low, Opeta Palepoi, Dan Turner, Kelly Brown, John Barclay, Johnnie Beattie.
Replacements: Fergus Thomson, Kevin Tkachuk, Andy Newman, James Eddie, Sam Pinder, Scott Barrow, Graeme Morrison.
Referee: James Jones (Wales)
Say What: Anthony Foley (Munster) – “You just can’t go on forever and I’m just happy to be still playing after all this time.
“When you’re young, you never look ahead to the finishing line but now I’m pretty sure this is the right moment to go. The way my body is feeling right now, I just couldn’t have taken another season.
“I’ve been playing international rugby since I was 16, played for Shannon at 18, Munster and Ireland not long after that and toured all over the world.
“I have always wanted to perform to my best and never to be a bit player. Life as a professional in Ireland is very comfortable.
“The schedule is laid out for you and you’re told what to do. After that, you earn what you get, you put your body on the line give it everything you can.
“I’ll miss the banter, the fun, the camaraderie. And above all I suppose the friends. We’ve achieved an awful lot together and not just during matches.
“There were many, many great moments off the field as well. And it was nice to be part of the transition from amateur to professional.
“With Munster, we could and probably should have won more than we did. One Heineken Cup, one Celtic Cup, one Celtic League, in my book that was not good enough because of the number of quality players we had.”
Top Scorers: 2007/08 Magners League – Points: Munster: Paul Warwick 130; Glasgow Warriors: Dan Parks 153; Tries: Munster: Paul Warwick, Ian Dowling 3 each; Glasgow Warriors: Dan Parks 5.
PREVIOUS LEAGUE MEETINGS:
Friday, October 24, 2003 – Munster 26 Glasgow Warriors 10, Musgrave Park
Friday, March 26, 2004 – Glasgow Warriors 12 Munster 37, Hughenden
Saturday, October 9, 2004 – Glasgow Warriors 26 Munster 28, Hughenden
Sunday, February 20, 2005 – Munster 25 Glasgow Warriors 19, Thomond Park
Saturday, September 17, 2005 – Glasgow Warriors 32 Munster 10, Hughenden
Saturday, February 18, 2006 – Munster 20 Glasgow Warriors 26, Thomond Park
Friday, September 15, 2006 – Glasgow Warriors 24 Munster 13, Hughenden
Saturday, May 12, 2007 – Munster 38 Glasgow Warriors 20, Musgrave Park
Friday, October 26, 2007 – Glasgow Warriors 11 Munster 11, Firhill
– Munster have won eight of their last nine home games in all competitions, and are unbeaten against Scottish teams since a 21-10 reversal at the hands of Edinburgh at Thomond Park in the Magners League on October 13, 2006
– Glasgow Warriors have won their last four matches in the Magners League but have not won five league games in a row since the inaugural season of 2001/02
– The Warriors currently occupy fifth place in the Magners League table, their best ever finish in a league season was sixth back in 2005
– Munster’s only victory in their last five encounters with Glasgow was a 38-20 success at Musgrave Park on May 12, 2007