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Rua Tipoki back in training
Cathal Noonan
Munster Looking To Maintain Momentum
2 February 2009, 12:49 pm
By Chris Byrne
With Ospreys and Leinster breathing down their throats, and away trips to Newport and Glasgow to follow, Munster will need to make the most of home advantage when Edinburgh come calling tomorrow evening.
The Scottish capital side are still very much in the hunt for the title, just five points off the pace in 5th place, and with no Heineken Cup distraction, Andy Robinson's squad will have this competition very much in their focus. Past results favour Munster who haven't lost to the Scots in their last ten meetings but team manager Shaun Payne prefers to pay heed to performances, "Statistics are all very fine, but you really have to look at the actual results of our most recent meetings.

"Last time we played them here in Cork, we won by three points. We scored two very late penalties after Edinburgh had been reduced to 14 and earlier this year there was just a score between us at the end. So we're under no illusions whatsoever about the task we face.

The Munster squad have just returned from a week long warm-weather training camp in Lanzarote that Payne said went very well, "It was very beneficial to have the squad, outside of the internationals obviously, together in good training (weather) conditions, with little disruption or the distractions that associated with this time of the year with all the international activity."

And one player who came through that camp with flying colours was Rua Tipoki who took a full part in the preparation for this game and had been included in the 26 strong squad for Saturday. "Rua is almost ready to return," said Payne, " he has made a good recovery but it was thought prudent not to rush him back into action, so he's been left out for this weekend."

Ian Dowling is also reported to be rehabbing very well and remains on course for a return in 4/5 weeks while Barry Murphy, who picked up a shoulder injury in the Ireland A game is expected to be out for a further three weeks.

Others who are on the injured list include, Anthony Horgan, Frank Sheahan, John O'Sullivan and Mark Melbourne while Brian Carney and James Coughlan are away with the International Sevens side.

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