19 May, 13:07
Ian Keatley is one of four Munster players who will travel with Emerging Ireland to Tblisi at the start of June.
"A lot of the selection issues have been taken out of our hands because unfortunately there's been a number of injuries" he explained after training in CIT.
"Then there's a number of players in the senior squad who have played six games in a row and are due a break and that of course has a knock-on effect to the A side. That's why there are a number of names in the squad that we haven't seen previously at this level. And there are a significant number of changes for this game. So this game affords us the opportunity to try new fellas. The positives is that we get to learn more about these guys that have been training in our Academy and our sub-Academy, see where they're at."
"And what I'm quite excited about is that we're looking at two or three on our teamsheet that we've been looking to get opportunities for."
"We've seen them playing club rugby so it'll be interesting to see how they play at the next level. We've put out the strongest possible team we can because it's a game, it's a competition we want to win."
Looking back to the game in Deramore Park where Munster looked a beaten ticket with less than fifteen minutes remaining Costello is full of praise for his side's reaction.
"There was only six, seven minutes on the clock," he recalls, "and we knew there was a considerable amount of injury time. So the feeling was to go for a push over try. It looked like we were going to get that but the ball came loose and then there was excellent control by Paddy Butler who popped it to Cathal Sheridan who did well to take the try."
"Credit to," he continues, "to JJ (Hanrahan). It was a tricky kick and he showed good nerve. That gave us the chance, five points off and a converted try to win it."
"At that point I think we raised it up another gear. A few key players stepped up the level they were playing at and we really dominated that last period and I thought the try was just reward for the play in that final ten, fifteen minutes."
His side trailed at half time and in a manner that gave no indication of what was to follow. "Yeh, for large parts of the game we didn’t play particularly well. Maybe travelling to Belfast in the same day had its effects. It took a while to shake off the cobwebs and I think we didn’t get what we wanted out of the first half."
"We played with a considerable wind and to go in nine points down was a bit of a worry. The flip side of it is that in the first ten minutes of the second half the guys really stepped it up a gear and got a fantastic try in the first few minutes. And that laid a bit of a platform."
"I thought we might have kicked on from there. But we were unlucky maybe to have a sin binning that slowed us up a bit again but in that last ten twelve minutes we really raised our performance."
"I think we had the added advantage of having six excellent front rows. Paul Mac (McCarthy) has done a super job in building up the level of depth we have. We’re even in a situation this week where John Ryan is coming back after his short stint with London Irish and that leaves us with seven front rows to choose from. That in turn means someone is going to lose out."
"That’s the depth of talent there’s here at the moment." But James Cronin and Christy Condon who started the game with Sean Henry really laid a foundation and they were on top in that second half and forced quite a number of penalties at scrum time."
"Then Alan Cotter came on along with Duncan Casey and Kevin Griffin and they did further damage and those penalties at the end gave us the field position to get those tries."
"To get those two tries at the end was fantastic and good sign of the character and where the lads are at the moment."
"Like I said to go there, up and down in the same day, showed great character and its a question now of how we kick on from that."