Peter Stringer starting for Ireland A tonight
Peter Stringer starting for Ireland A tonight
Fingers Crossed
11 November 2009, 10:56 am
By Chris Byrne
Munster front row problems will ease somewhat with the return to action in Croke Park on Sunday of John Hayes and Jerry Flannery but it will be a case of fingers crossed from a Munster management point of view over the next three weeks with 13 of their squad on international duty.
That number includes the latest addition to the squad, Springboks prop Wian du Preez who sits on the bench this evening for the clash with France in Toulouse.

Also in action this evening will be Peter Stringer, Donnacha Ryan and Denis Fogarty who play on the Ireland A side that takes on Tonga in Ravenhill (7pm).

Stringer partners Ian Humphreys at half-back, Ryan teams up with Devin Toner in the second row while Fogarty provides the back-up to his brother, hooker John.

The younger Fogarty will also no doubt have provided a degree of solace for his brother who would have entertained genuine hopes of being involved in Croke Park on Sunday, those hopes dashed when Declan Kidney opted for the far less experienced ex-Munster hooker Sean Cronin as number two to Jerry Flannery.

Meanwhile, these weeks do offer much needed recovery time and on that score Marcus Horan underwent a successful operation last week and is recovering well while Darragh Hurley continues to make progress with the shoulder injury that kept him out of the Ulster game but is to see a specialist in the coming days.

Jeremy Manning had a shoulder operation two weeks ago and is expected to be out of action until February with Dave Ryan (elbow) expected back the following month.

An ankle injury will keep Barry Murphy out for three to four weeks but Doug Howlett will be back in full training next week having recovered from the hamstring injury he sustained in the Heineken Cup game against Treviso.

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