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Tipoki Included In Munster Squad

Tipoki Included In Munster Squad

Rua Tipoki has been named in a 25-man Munster squad for their Magners League derby encounter with Ulster at Thomond Park on Saturday (kick-off 7.30pm).

Rua Tipoki limped out of game against the All Blacks on November 18 with a knee injury but is set to return ahead of schedule.

According to Munster team manager Shaun Payne, the centre’s quicker-than-expected recovery is due to ‘the professionalism of the player himself’ and ‘the superb work of our medical and fitness staff.’

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As Munster look to get their Magners League ambitions back on track following a 12-6 defeat to Connacht last Sunday, they once again make full use of their squad.

Kieran Lewis, Ronan O’Gara, Denis Fogarty, Jerry Flannery, Donncha O’Callaghan and John O’Sullivan all return to the panel, having missed the game against Connacht.

With Frankie Sheahan ruled out until the end of January after suffering a shoulder injury against Connacht, Munster include three hookers.

And while there is no place for the likes of Paul O’Connell, Marcus Horan, Tomas O’Leary and Ian Dowling, all are well and are likely to be included in the Munster squad for their trip to the Ospreys next week.

Payne explained: “This is a busy time of year, with a succession of very important, very intense games.

“So it’s important we use our resources prudently not alone for our own sake but also keeping in mind the international players’ workload with the Six Nations just a little over four weeks away.”

Payne also revealed that injured back rower Denis Leamy is rehabbing well and is on schedule for a possible return at the end of January.

MUNSTER Squad (v Ulster): Backs (11) – Keith Earls, Denis Hurley, Doug Howlett, Barry Murphy, Rua Tipoki, Lifeimi Mafi, Kieran Lewis, Paul Warwick, Ronan O’Gara, Mike Prendergast, Peter Stringer.

Forwards (14) – Federico Pucciariello, Denis Fogarty, Jerry Flannery, Michael Essex, Timmy Ryan, John Hayes, Mick O’Driscoll, Donncha O’Callaghan, Donnacha Ryan, Alan Quinlan, John O’Sullivan, Niall Ronan, Nick Williams, James Coughlan.