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Munster Players On The Mend

Munster Players On The Mend

Although all eyes will be on Croke Park on Saturday for the Ireland-England game, the Munster management already have their focus firmly fixed on next weekend’s Magners League trip to the Newport Gwent Dragons.

Munster will take on a Dragons side buoyed by their defeat of Ulster last time out and with every point crucial now as we get move into the business end of the Magners League, Munster will need to be at their very best to get something from the visit to Rodney Parade.

The Munster management have been encouraged by centre Rua Tipoki’s return to full training and while he may not be involved in the Dragons game, the former New Zealand Maori captain should be available for selection for the province’s next game in Glasgow.

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Munster coach Tony McGahan has also been buoyed by the good form shown by centre duo Lifeimi Mafi and Keith Earls, who were more than impressive in the recent bonus point win over Edinburgh.

The province have also revealed that Barry Murphy, who injured a shoulder in the Ireland ‘A’ side’s victory over Scotland ‘A’, is expected to be available for inclusion in the squad to face the Dragons.

James Coughlan and Brian Carney will not be available for selection next week because of their involvement with Ireland in the Rugby World Cup Sevens.

McGahan reports that all those involved in the emphatic Munster ‘A’ victory over Leinster ‘A’ in Waterpark on Wednesday came through unscathed while there was also positive news on other injured players.

Ian Dowling, who is rehabbing ‘extremely well’, is able to do light running, and it is expected that he may be in contention for selection for the Magners League clash with Leinster the week before the Heineken Cup quarter-final.

Mark Melbourne (knee) will be out of action for up to 12 weeks, Frankie Sheahan (shoulder muscle) is expected to be able to resume contact in six weeks while Anthony Horgan (groin) and John O’Sullivan (neck), who were both forced out of Wednesday’s ‘A’ game, should be back in training next week.