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Rua Tipoki
Players On The Mend
2 February 2009, 12:35 pm
By Chris Byrne
Although all eyes will be on Croke Park tomorrow for the RBS Six Nations Ireland England game, Munster management will already have their focus firmly fixed on the Magners League trip to Newport tomorrow week.
They'll take on a Dragons side buoyed by their success of Ulster last time out and with every point crucial now as we get down to the business end of the competition, Munster will need to be at their very best to get something from the visit to Rodney Parade.

Munster management will be encouraged by the news that Rua Tipoki is back in full training and while he may not be involved in the Dragons game he should be available for selection for the game in Glasgow. The good news of course for coach Tony McGahan is the good form shown by Lifeimi Mafi and Keith Earls who were more than impressive in the win over Edinburgh while Barry Murphy, who injured a shoulder in the Ireland A game against Scotland, is expected to be available for inclusion in the squad for the trip to Newport.

James Coughlan and Brian Carney will not be available for selection next week because they will be engaged with the Ireland Sevens side in Dubai but McGahan reports that all those involved in the emphatic Munster A victory over Leinster A in Waterpark on Wednesday came through unscathed while there was also positive news on other injured players.

Ian Dowling, rehabbing 'extremely well', is able to do light running, and it is expected that he may be in contention for selection for the Magners League against Leinster the week before Munster take on the Ospreys in the quarter final.

Mark Melbourne (knee) will be out of action for up to 12 weeks, Frank Sheahan (shoulder muscle) is expected to be able to resume contact in six weeks while Anthony Horgan (groin) and John O'Sullivan (neck) - both forced out of Wednesday's A game - should be back in training next week.

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