11 Dec, 11:28
After round 3 of the Heineken Cup, Munster Rugby have nominated Tommy O'Donnell for squad inclusion.
Contrast that to Ian Costello's side who this evening take to the field for their ninth game of the season.
Nevertheless both sides deserve credit for being here tonight, both overcoming adversity in doing so, both surviving significant encounters with Cornish Pirates along the way.
In Munster's case it was in Round One when they were beaten by a hugely controversial last minute penalty try in Clonmel RFC while Cross Keys saw off the 2010 winners in the semi-final 26-10 with two tries from wing Kristian Baller.
That result on it's own can act as a warning to Billy Holland and his colleagues of what they're up against this evening. The Welsh side by their own admission have been wrapped in cotton wool with this game in mind followed by the SWALEC Cup final next weekend.
Munster showed huge bottle, great defence and no little amount of skill in beating Leinster at the RDS in the semi final but this will be an entirely different kettle of fish. In the 2010 final they came up short against a grizzled crafty 'old-school' Pirates outfit who in the end, were just that little bit too street-wise.
They can expect more of the same from Cross Keys who wll come screaming out of the blocks and who have in Jason Tovey a fly-half well capable of bossing this game - if he's allowed - and the backs to exploit any opportunities provided.
All in all though, it promises to be a cracking affair.
Munster: S Scanlon; AN Other, D Barnes, I Dineen, D Hurley; S Deasy, D Williams; D Kilcoyne, S Henry, S Archer; B Hayes, I Nagle; B Holland (capt), D O’Callaghan, P Butler. Replacements: D Fogarty, J Ryan, B O’Mahony, B O’Hara, G Hurley, D Cusack, JJ Hanrahan.
Cross Keys: G David; K Baller, L Andrews, P Williams, N Trowbridge; J Tovey, R Dyer; R Cornock, G Price, M Jones; D Hodge; T Lampard; R Peebles, R Nash capt, J Groves. Replacements: L Rawlins, J Sollis, C Gould, C Trayhern, M Popham, L Williams, O Jones.
Referee: J Matthews (SRU).