16 Apr 14
Munster trained in the sunshine at UL yesterday, ahead of Saturday evening's crucial derby away to Connacht in the RaboDirect PRO12.
Academy back row O'Donoghue from Waterford and Dolphin clubman Slater are both named on a bench that includes Deasy who understudies JJ Hanrahan on this occasion. First year Academy back-row Murphy (Dolphin) is a former Ireland Schools and Under 19s international and most recently made his first Munster A Interpro appearance against against Leinster A. Prop James Cronin is also in line for his B&I Cup debut, he has lined out for the As in a pre-season friendly against Connacht Eagles.
Costello is well aware of the task they face on Saturday. "Look, they're a good championship side. We played Plymouth and found it very very tough to break them down over there. So to travel to Rotherham, it's going to be similar." he said after training today.
"On paper they (Rotherham) are stronger (than Plymouth). They put 50 points on them and we struggled to beat them. It was a very tough close game. So from our point of view it's going to be a very big challenge."
Speaking of the mix of youth and experience Costello continued. "There are quite a few back row injuries so we're lacking a bit of experience there but on the other side of the coin we have some very exciting young players from our Academy that are going to come in and get an opportunity this week. So it'll great to see how they get on with that challenge.
"We've managed to get a look at a few of their games. What we do is, let the lads themselves do the analysis, look at various aspects of the opposition's game. From what we've seen, they're a very good side but we'll have our homework done and hopefully be well prepared come Saturday."
Munster: Denis Hurley; Luke O'Dea, Danny Barnes, Ivan Dineen, Johne Murphy; JJ Hanrahan, Cathal Sheridan; James Cronin, Sean Henry, John Ryan; Dave Foley, Ian Nagle; Brian Hayes, Ryan Murphy, Shane Buckley. Replacements: Duncan Casey, Christy Condon, Philip Donnellan, Jack O'Donoghue, Brian Slater, Scott Deasy, Ronan O'Mahony.