It is a short turnaround for the Munster squad following their 39-9 GUINNESS PRO14 win over the Dragons at Thomond Park with a 28-man squad setting off for South Africa today.
PRO14 action continues for Johann van Graan’s men with the Isuzu Southern Kings providing the opposition in Port Elizabeth next Saturday, before the Toyota Cheetahs entertain the province in Bloemfontein on Friday week (October 11).
Included in the travelling party is newly-signed Australian forward Jed Holloway who was issued with his work permit during the week, and Academy front rowers Diarmuid Barron, who bagged his first senior try for Munster yesterday, and Keynan Knox, a debutant during the second half.
Reflecting on the Dragons game, back rower Jack O’Donoghue said: “Very good start to the season. We came away with five points, it’s what we aim to do every game we go out and play. I think the performance showed there were tough conditions, but we stuck to our game-plan and credit to the lads, it was a good old return.
“The Dragons came out and started well, in fairness. They’re a physical side, we knew that maul and scrum time was always going to be a battle especially with the conditions out there. Luckily we came out on top and it just shows all the hard work we’ve done in pre-season, it was good to be able to showcase that.
“It’s going to be two very tough games in South Africa now. I watched the Cheetahs last night (against Glasgow Warriors) and they were very impressive at altitude. First up we have the (Southern) Kings – I haven’t been there now in two years. The weather will hopefully be a bit different there, it won’t be lashing rain probably!
“Yeah, we’re looking forward to it. It’s going to hopefully be a great tour, but the most important thing is to come away with a performance and a few points.”
MUNSTER Squad (South Africa Tour) – Backs (11): Neil Cronin, Alby Mathewson, Nick McCarthy, Tyler Bleyendaal, JJ Hanrahan, Shane Daly, Dan Goggin, Rory Scannell, Calvin Nash, Darren Sweetnam, Mike Haley.
Forwards (17): Stephen Archer, James Cronin, Keynan Knox, Jeremy Loughman, Liam O’Connor, Diarmuid Barron, Rhys Marshall, Kevin O’Byrne, Billy Holland (capt), Jed Holloway, Darren O’Shea, Fineen Wycherley, Arno Botha, Chris Cloete, Gavin Coombes, Tommy O’Donnell, Jack O’Donoghue.