The Munster squad trained at the University of Limerick yesterday in the build-up to Saturday’s RaboDirect PRO12 derby against Leinster at Thomond Park.
The province’s head coach Rob Penney and captain Peter O’Mahony were two notable absentees as both attended the Heineken Cup launch in Dublin.
Paul O’Connell and Felix Jones played their part in Tuesday’s training session after both showing no ill-effects following their return to action last Saturday night against the Newport Gwent Dragons.
There was positive news on the injury front with BJ Botha (knee) and Conor Murray (toe) returning to limited training, while Ian Nagle (foot) completed his own movement session and is looking good to make a return to full training next week.
Speaking at the Heineken Cup launch, Penney said of Murray’s availability: “Conor’s bouncing back quickly, strongly. He’ll just need to be managed but he’s pleased enough with the progress.
“Conor’s grown into one of the best half-backs in the world and his influence on us can’t be understated.
“When it comes to the big games you need your big boys to step up and Conor’s one of those now. Conor coming back now is a real boost for the group.”
Looking forward to locking horns with Leinster again, the Munster boss added: “It’s very, very exciting. That was one of the big learnings for me last year, the ferocity of the derby matches.
“The way in which they were approached by both sides, no matter who you’re playing from within Ireland. I think the intensity is right up there next to Test rugby and top-end Heineken (Cup games).
“When you’re playing a side like Leinster with all the gifted athletes they have in the group, you’re going to have to be at that intensity to be challenging for the points. We’re very keen to set down a little marker to say, ‘Munster’s here and ready’.”
Tickets for Saturday’s interprovincial derby (kick-off 6.45pm) are on sale online here, and are also available from the Munster Rugby ticket offices in Thomond Park and Musgrave Park, or by calling Ticketmaster on 0818 719300.