12 Dec, 11:55
Munster A Head Coach Peter Malone has named a strong squad for the vital British and Irish Cup clash against Plymouth Albion at Waterford's Regional Sports Centre tomorrow night (ko 7:30pm).
"As usual there will be a mix with the A team again next week, with seniors getting game time which is important, and academy guys getting some development time.
The guys who have previously being involved with the A squads, well most of those players will be involved again for next week. We very much so want to win and we‘ve got a good record against Leinster at this level.
But it’s also about developing players, it’s a perfect opportunity for that and to play guys coming back from injury. It’ll be very good for our young lads to play with Paul O’Connell, good to be around that environment."
"We’ve a bit of a download week this week; apart from a rescheduled game between Dolphin and Young Munster none of the clubs have an All-Ireland league fixture.
We scheduled two Munster sessions on Tuesday and Thursday so that’s all the lads have done, taking Monday, Wednesday and Friday off. That gives them a much lighter week than their normal week and gives them a chance for their bodies to recover and also a chance to bring them together which is rare enough especially at college time.
It’s hard to bring all these guys together, with their college load, club load and their academy load, and a lot of these guys are in their final year in college also so we just need to make sure we find a balance that works for them."
"We’ll probably play a trial game between academy and A players before the Glasgow game, we then have the B&I Cup quarter final, and a Development XV will take on Russian side, Enisey STM, either on Monday 8th or Tuesday 9th of April.
They are a fully professional team and will be in Ireland for 10 days, staying in Carton House and are well funded so it’s good for our guys to challenge themselves against a professional outfit."
"Darren Moroney is back running now so hopefully over the next 3 to 4 weeks he will get back in to full time rugby training. It’s a long term injury so it will take him a while to get back and we’re going to be patient with him and there will be no rush with his return.
Shane Buckley is looking probably like 4 to 6 weeks after picking up a partial strain on a knee ligament in the game against Barcelona. He didn’t have to go under any operation or have surgery so he’s looking at a mid-April return.
Darren Sweetnam (Ireland U20s) picked up a small ankle injury with UCC last week, so it’s hopefully a mild strain and he’s missing this weekend against France, and will hopefully be back next week against Italy.
Brian Haugh picked up a bit of a back injury which is why he hasn’t been playing for Young Munster the last two weeks. It should take rest and rehabilitation and he could be back in 4 weeks.
Johnny Holland missed a game last week for Cork Con with a slight hamstring strain but again he hopes to be back fit for their next game the weekend after this.
Niall Horan (sub academy prop) is rehabbing pretty well from a back injury and he’s hoping to be back towards the end of March, start of April, putting himself in the frame to challenge for a World Cup spot."