The Munster squad trained at the University of Limerick on Tuesday ahead of what is now a ‘must win’ interprovincial derby away to Connacht if they are to secure qualification for the RaboDirect PRO12 play-offs.
This weekend Rob Penney’s side will travel to the Sportsground seeking an improved performance after a lacklustre and error-ridden outing against Glasgow Warriors last Saturday when they suffered their first home defeat of the season.
But Connacht will present their own challenges when looking to restore pride in front of their home support, as they aim to bounce back from a heavy loss to Ulster.
On the injury front, JJ Hanrahan (groin) waits on an update from the specialist and will continue to be monitored by the Munster medical staff.
BJ Botha was absent from training on Tuesday due to illness, but head coach Penney was positive about the prop’s availability for the next round after he sustained a mild ankle injury against Glasgow.
Casey Laulala remains on course to return to training next week in time for the Toulon clash. The centre suffered a fractured bone in his right hand during Munster’s win over Toulouse in the Heineken Cup.
Both Donnacha Ryan (foot) and James Cronin (ankle) were active at UL and continue to make good progress with their own rehabilitation programmes.
Munster flanker Sean Dougall, who made a return to the starting line-up last Saturday in Thomond Park, is looking forward to righting the wrongs of the performance against Glasgow.
“We need to redeem ourselves against Connacht, as a squad and as a pack,” he insisted.
“We have to get a result this weekend, it is vital to our season progression and we can’t afford to look beyond the Sportsground this Saturday.
“Every game is now essentially a ‘cup final’ and needs to be treated like so – we’ve put ourselves in this position and it’s for us to get out of it.”