Munster coach Tony McGahan has selected along expected lines, in naming a 29-man squad for Saturday’s Magners League derby against Leinster at the Aviva Stadium (kick-off 7.30pm).
All 23 players who featured in the bonus point win over Glasgow Warriors, as starters or off the replacements bench, have been included in Munster’s extended panel.
Among them are Johne Murphy, the two-try hero against the Warriors, and Academy hooker Sean Henry, who made his Magners League debut as a second half replacement last Friday.
John Hayes, who has been nursing a back strain, is back in contention for a matchday role, along with Alan Quinlan, Billy Holland, Peter O’Mahony, Mike Sherry and Danny Barnes.
Munster coach Tony McGahan supervised the squad session in the Cork Institute of Technology this morning, which was held in rain-soaked conditions.
Speaking afterwards, McGahan was asked about the predicted wet weather for Saturday’s meeting of these fierce rivals.
“No, (I don’t think the weather will affect things). Not at all. Whatever the conditions, both sides will adapt – it will be the same for them,” he said.
“Obviously, we’d like a dry sod, I’m sure supporters would too. But it’s not as though either ourselves or Leinster are not used to playing in the wet.”
Looking forward to the Aviva Stadium showdown, number 8 Denis Leamy said: “I think we have gained a lot of confidence from winning so far which is one thing, and obviously our scrum is one area we have improved on and we have more to do with it.
“But right across the board we have improved and there’s a bit more to come hopefully.
“Physicality will play a huge part against Leinster and whatever has gone before doesn’t really matter, this is a derby game, we know each other so well, and it’s one of those great games to be involved with in Irish sport.”
MUNSTER Squad (v Leinster) – Backs (11): Tomas O’Leary, Peter Stringer, Ronan O’Gara, Scott Deasy, Paul Warwick, Danny Barnes, Lifemi Mafi, Johne Murphy, Sam Tuitupou, Doug Howlett, Denis Hurley.
Forwards (18): Wian du Preez, Marcus Horan, Mike Sherry, Sean Henry, Damien Varley, John Hayes, Darragh Hurley, Tony Buckley, Billy Holland, Donnacha Ryan, Donncha O’Callaghan, Mick O’Driscoll, Alan Quinlan, David Wallace, Niall Ronan, Denis Leamy, Peter O’Mahony, James Coughlan.