Tomas O’Leary and John Hayes, who resumed training yesterday with Munster, have been included in the province’s 28-man squad for their opening RaboDirect PRO12 game against the Newport Gwent Dragons.
The Munster squad earlier trained today in Cork and will have a further pitch session in Limerick on Thursday, with the team and replacements for the Dragons game due to be announced on Friday afternoon.
Back rower James Coughlan also returns to the squad having missed last weekend’s pre-season win over London Irish. He has recovered from an eye injury.
Versatile back Johne Murphy is also in contention. He strained a hamstring playing for the Ireland Select XV against Connacht, but could feature in Saturday’s opener at Musgrave Park (kick-off 7.45pm).
Among the absentees due to injury are the unfortunate David Wallace (knee) and Felix Jones (foot), along with Darragh Hurley (Achillies), BJ Botha (calf) and Troy Smith (knee).
MUNSTER Squad (v Newport Gwent Dragons) – Backs (12): Sean Scanlon, Johne Murphy, Doug Howlett, Denis Hurley, Simon Zebo, Lifeimi Mafi, Danny Barnes, Scott Deasy, Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams, Peter Stringer, Tomas O’Leary.
Forwards (16): Marcus Horan, Wian du Preez, Damien Varley, Mike Sherry, Stephen Archer, John Hayes, Peter Borlase, Dave Foley, Mick O’Driscoll, Ian Nagle, Billy Holland, David O’Callaghan, Peter O’Mahony, Tommy O’Donnell, Niall Ronan, James Coughlan.