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Familiar Feel To Munster Side?
12 December 2006, 6:41 pm
By Gerry Murray
Its unlikely that Munster coach Declan Kidney will require a very long consultation with his fellow coaches before deciding on his side to start against Cardiff Blues next Sunday. Kidney is expected to name his squad after training in Cork today but the match day 22 that will be announced on Friday will be along familiar lines.
After the weekend victory over Connacht, four players David Wallace, Federico Pucciariello, Barry Murphy and John Kelly all picked up knocks but if they are named in the extended squad today then chances are they will be available for selection.

If that is the case then up front the back five of O'Connell, O'Callaghan, Quinlan, Wallace and Leamy pencil themselves in straight away as do John Hayes and Frank Sheahan. The only possible quandary in that area being whether the number one jersey will be given to the rookie Daragh Hurley or the more experienced Federico Pucciarello.

No prizes for guessing the halves or inside centre and if fit, then Barry Murphy will edge out Lifeimi Mafi for the outside centre berth.
John Kelly was having slight hamstring bother after Sunday's game but if that has cleared up then the Mister Reliable of the side will slot into one wing position with Anthony Horgan likely to see off Ian Dowling or Mafi for the other one.
Shaun Payne was rested last weekend and that afforded Christian Cullen the opportunity to return to action. And he did to good effect, scoring a try in the process but Payne is in the form of his life and it's hard to see him being omitted.
Hurley or Pucciariello on the bench along with Andy Kyriacou, Chris Wyatt and Tim McGann ? Jeremy Manning and Tomas O'Leary should be the back-up halves with the final slot on the bench going to one from the trio of Dowling, Mafi and Cullen.

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