There is no question of Munster lacking the desire or motivation to turn over London Irish in their final Heineken Cup pool game, with Paul O’Connell saying: “We’ve a massive game ahead of us at home, for our supporters and for us, and guys are eager to put in a big performance at the weekend.”
A victory over London Irish on Saturday could provide Munster with further European action this season via the Amlin Challange Cup and full-back/winger Denis Hurley is looking to the positives.
“The season is far from over for Munster and it’s not all doom and gloom, we still have an opportunity to make it into the quarter-finals of the Amlin Challenge Cup, and we’re top of the Magners League,” he said.
“If there is silverware, we’re definitely interested! It’s still European rugby, there’s some quality teams left in the Amlin Challenge Cup and to have extra games at a European level is very important for us.”
On the injury front, there is some welcome news for the Munster management. Prop Marcus Horan is taking part in his first full week of training after recovering from a broken bone in his wrist, and is hopeful of getting some game-time over the coming weeks with Shannon.
Hooker Jerry Flannery, who is two weeks into his six-week recovery from a calf injury, was named in Ireland’s RBS 6 Nations squad todday. He will join the Irish camp at the start of next week where he will be monitored by their medical team.
Meanwhile, flanker Alan Quinlan is three weeks into his recovery from a dislocated elbow. The Munster coaches are hopeful that he will get some game-time come the Magners League clash with Benetton Treviso in mid-February.
Centre/winger Barry Murphy, who sustained a foot injury and retired early in the British & Irish Cup game against Nottingham last weekend, underwent a scan yesterday evening and is now awaiting the results.