Tom Gleason
Tom Gleason
Munster Give Youth A Fling
8 August 2009, 9:27 am
By Pat Geraghty
With none of the internationals or recent Churchill Cup squad available for selection, there is a decided youthful look to the Munster side for the season opener with Sale Sharks tomorrow evening (Musgrave Park 7pm).
Nine of the starting XV wear the Munster jersey for the first time although three of those - wing Danny Riordan, scrum-half Toby Morland and hooker Damien Varley - are experienced campaigners, wing Riordan with Connacht, Morland as scrum-half to Super 14 finalists Waikato Chiefs and hooker Varley after his time with London Wasps.
Paul Warwick captains a side that includes Academy and Sub Academy players and two former Academy members, Billy Holland and Tom Gleeson who this season are promoted to full contracts.

Two other Munster Academy products, Dave Ryan and Tommy O'Donnell, now on Development contracts with the squad also feature and after a week's training in the sun in Portugal coach Tony McGahan is confident his proteges will give a good account of themselves.

"Yes it is by and large a young squad, there are 7 fully contracted players in the starting line up. The internationals and Churchill Cup players are not available to us while Doug (Howlett) and Lifeimi (Mafi) are carrying littles niggles. Nothing serious."

"Our pre-season has been disrupted because of the demands to our internationals but having the entire squad together in Browns has been beneficial and allowed us to get back to team drills and our game plan."

"The players worked hard this past week. The facilities in Browns were first class and I'm more than happy with the work we've been able to do there. If I were to make a comparison to where we are now and where we were this time last year, I would say we are ahead at this stage in our preparations."

Munster: Scott Deasy; Danny Riordan, Tom Gleeson, Paul Warwick capt, Danny Barnes; Jeremy Manning, Toby Morland; Dave Ryan, Damien Varley, Stephen Archer; Billy Holland, Ian Nagle; Nick Williams, Tommy O'Donnell, Kieran Essex. Replacements: Mike Sherry, Julien Brugnaut, Dave O'Callaghan, Eoghan Grace, Conor Murray, Andrew Burke, Finbar Ahern, Dave Kilcoyne, Brian Hayes, Ronan O'Mahony, Declan Cusack.
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