Jump to main content


Flannery Returns As O’Gara Leads Munster

Flannery Returns As O’Gara Leads Munster

Friday will see Munster hooker Jerry Flannery return to competitive action for the first time since he picked up a six-week suspension against France in the RBS 6 Nations.

Jerry Flannery is one of four Ireland internationals making a return to Magners League action for this top of the table clash with Leinster, Tomas O’Leary, John Hayes and David Wallace being the others.

However, two players named in Munster’s extended squad on Tuesday – team captain Paul O’Connell and Keith Earls – have both been forced to withdraw due to groin strains.

Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

In relation to their availability for the Heineken Cup quarter-final against Northampton in a week’s time, team manager Shaun Payne said that neither player has been ruled out at this stage.

18 of Friday’s matchday 22 were involved when the sides last met at the RDS back in October.

From that game, which Leinster won on a 30-0 scoreline, Denis Leamy and Denis Hurley are now joined on the injury list by O’Connell and Earls.

In the absence of O’Connell, Munster will be captained by out-half Ronan O’Gara who is set to win a 180th cap for his home province.

Previewing the game, lock Donncha O’Callaghan, who will chalk up his 160th Munster cap on Friday, said: “It’s a massive challenge, It always is when we play them. Local derbies have that extra edge, this one has that and a little more.

“It’s Cork and Kerry or Manchester United and Manchester City. It’s the game you want to win. And they’re the same.

“It doesn’t matter what competition it is, the Magners League or Heineken Cyp, this sort of game is right up there with internationals in terms of physicality and intensity.

“Mistakes are normally punished to the full, there’ll be very little or no room for error.

“But this is the type of game that running around in the freezing wind, sleet and rain that we had in Clanwilliam on Tuesday are all about.

“It’s a blow (to be missing Paul and Keith), no doubt about it. But they’re missing Drico (Brian O’Driscoll) and a few more we hear.

“We’d have full confidence in the side selected. We know what we have to do. This about who is on the pitch, not who isn’t.”

MUNSTER (v Leinster): Paul Warwick; Doug Howlett, Lifeimi Mafi, Jean de Villiers, Ian Dowling; Ronan O’Gara (capt), Tomas O’Leary; Marcus Horan, Jerry Flannery, John Hayes, Donncha O’Callaghan, Mick O’Driscoll, Alan Quinlan, Niall Ronan, David Wallace.

Replacements: Denis Fogarty, Tony Buckley, Nick Williams, James Coughlan, Peter Stringer, Tom Gleeson, Scott Deasy.