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Smiles Aplenty As Munster Players Visit Cork University Hospital

Smiles Aplenty As Munster Players Visit Cork University Hospital

After training yesterday, 25 members of the Munster squad brought smiles to faces of children, parents and staff in the children’s ward of Cork University Hospital.

The Munster players, led by captain Peter O’Mahony, visited the ward at Cork University Hospital, signed autographs, posed for photos and shared some tales with the kids.

Always one of the most rewarding experiences on the players’ schedule, they are each year visibly moved by the care and attention of the devoted staff and the cheerful attitude of the children themselves, despite their illnesses. The visit followed on from last year’s visit to Limerick Regional Hospital.

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Amy Roche, aged 6 from Cork, and parents Seamus and Bernadette with Munster’s Felix Jones, Simon Zebo, Donncha O’Callaghan and Peter O’Mahony

Some of the Munster players gather for a chat with Megan and Emma Rose Lowe, aged 10 and 3 from Mallow, Co. Cork

Some of the Cork University Hospital staff members are pictured with Munster’s Donncha O’Callaghan and Peter O’Mahony

Oran Werner and parents Mark and Shelly from Clonakilty, Co. Cork had a visit from the Munster players

Fionn Barry and mum Brenda O’Connell with Munster’s Keith Earls, Conor Murray, Ian Keatley, Felix Jones and Peter O’Mahony

While the majority of the Munster squad have previously trained or played at Irish Independent Park this season, yesterday’s field session gave a number of recently returned internationals the chance to get accustomed with their newly refurbished facility.

Should Tommy O’Donnell make his first appearance of the season on Leeside this weekend, the 27-year-old will win his 100th cap for the province having also made his debut in Cork, at the old Musgrave Park against the Scarlets in September 2007.

On the injury front, Paddy Butler received a dead leg while warming up for Munster ‘A’ against Ulster Ravens at Banbridge RFC last week, causing him to withdraw from the game prior to kick-off. Ivan Dineen was another late withdrawal from the ‘A’ interprovincial as he continues to manage a knee injury.

There was better news for Cathal Sheridan who continues to build his match fitness post-injury. The scrum half suffered no ill-effects from a 55-minute appearance against the Ravens, with Donnacha Ryan playing his first 80 minutes since returning from a foot injury.

Kevin O’Byrne, Denis Hurley and Paul O’Connell, all of whom suffered knocks against Edinburgh, did not take part in training yesterday. O’Byrne is awaiting the results of a scan on a neck injury, while Hurley (hamstring) and O’Connell (bang to shoulder) will be reassessed following the second squad session later this week.

Tyler Bleyendaal took a full part in training and met with a specialist today for a further update on his prolapsed disc.

Barry O’Mahony, Johnny Holland, Cian Bohane, Robin Copeland, Dave Foley, Gerhard van den Heever, Mike Sherry, Alan Cotter and Martin Kelly all continue to follow their rehabilitation programmes.

Munster entertain Benetton Treviso in the GUINNESS PRO12 on Saturday afternoon, with the match kicking off at 3.05pm at Irish Independent Park. Tickets from just €;15 for adults and €;30 for families (2 adults & 2 kids) can be purchased online here, from the Munster Rugby Ticket Offices at Irish Independent Park and Thomond Park, or by calling 0818 719 300.