Munster Team for Sunday

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Munster Team for Sunday

Postby silly punt » October 3rd, 2008, 2:14 pm

McGahan keeps eye on the prize
Munster coach is not taking the meeting with Glasgow Warriors lightly but has opted to rest a few of his more regular starters with the first round of the Heineken Cup in mind, ahead of the Scottish side's visit to a revamped Thomond Park tomorrow.

Anthony Horgan is back on the wing for the European champions, while Alan Quinlan starts after coming on as late replacement in the 18-0 win over Leinster last week.

Peter Stringer also starts at scrumhalf after the late withdrawal of Tomas O'Leary with a leg injury, but Ronan O'Gara remains at outhalf after his masterful performance at the RDS.

Mike Prendergast is on the bench as cover for Stringer, while Barry Murphy partners Rua Tipoki in the centre.

Jerry Flannery is rested and replaced by Frankie Sheahan, as Niall Ronan, Mick O'Driscoll and Kieran Lewis are named among the replacements.

McGahan is keen to ensure his team are not distracted by the return to their old stomping ground.

"It is of course going to be a marvellous occasion and it's a great tribute to those involved in the construction to bring it to this stage so quickly," said the Australian. "But at the end of the day for us it's a Magners League game, there are points on offer and we really can't let ourselves approach this game in any different frame of mind than any other game. It's also our final run-out before the Heineken Cup kicks off and again an opportunity for selected players to put their hands up."

The coach insists that there are still places up for grabs ahead of the opening Heineken Cup pool game against Montauban.

"Of course there is a core to this side for Saturday that wont change for the game against the French but there are places still to be decided and opportunities there."

After a 34-20 win over Llanelli Scarlets, Glasgow coach Sean Lineen has made just one tactical switch ahead of the game.

Andrew Henderson at inside-centre will start instead of Graeme Morrison, while at outhalf Lineen has to do without Dan Parks, whose knee injury affords Colin Gregor a starting berth.

"Andrew's an international 12 and is champing at the bit to play, I'd be a fool not to rotate the squad and give the guy a chance. Graeme played very well against the Scarlets last week and now it's up to Andy to show us what he's got; and what better place to do it - he's played in front of big crowds before so it's a chance for him to make his mark on the game," said Lineen today.

"Dan could play if we were really desperate but we have options that allow us to leave him out. Colin Gregor's done well against Munster in the past, he's a skilled footballer and I like the way he plays. If he gets the support from the players around him and he manages to make good decisions under real pressure then I think he could have a cracking game."

Lineen is keenly aware of the challenge ahead in front of a partisan crowd and has called on his players show their mettle against the European champions.

"If Munster get some momentum they are very difficult to beat, they have quality players and they are very strong so we have to make sure we look after the ball, tackle hard and make sure we're not intimidated.

"Contact is going to be a big area for us. They had a game against Leinster on Sunday that was a real gladiatorial battle and Munster finally wore them down in about the 74th minute. We've got to go right to the end, right to the final whistle, and we've got to front up."

Munster : K Earls; D Howlett, B Murphy, R Tipoki, A Horgan, R O'Gara, P Stringer; M Horan, F Sheahan, J Hayes; P O'Connell capt, D O'Callaghan, A Quinlan, J Melck, D Wallace. Replacements : D Fogarty, T Buckley, M O'Driscoll, N Ronan, M Prendergast, P Warwick, K Lewis.

Glasgow Warriors: B Stortoni; L Fa'atau, M Evans, A Henderson, T Evans; C Gregor, M McMillan; J Va'a, D Hall, M Low; O Palepoi, A Kellock (captain); K Brown, J Barclay, J Beattie. Replacements : E Kalman, K Tkachuk, T Barker, S Swindall, R Jackson, G Morrison

© 2008 The Irish Times
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