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Marcus Horan training in UL on Tuesday
Morgan Treacy
Horan On The Bench
1 January 2010, 11:43 am
Marcus Horan returns to the Munster match day squad for the first time since mid October, named among the replacements for tomorrow's Heineken Cup final Pool One clash with Northampton Saints at a sold out Thomond Park Stadium (8pm).
Horan, capped 162 times by Munster, made his return to action for his club Shannon in their 32-10 win over Dolphin at Coonagh last weekend having been denied the opportunity of an earlier return by the inclement weather.

Other than that Munster coach Tony McGahan retains the same personnel that earned the bonus point win in Treviso last weekend, David Wallace fully recovered from the knock that saw him sit out the second half of that game.

And while Horan confined himself to a simple, "Just delighted to be back in the squad," comment, his Munster colleague of 11 seasons Donncha O'Callaghan was a little more forthcoming. "It's great, it really is to have him back. We were all concerned when he had the knock but besides anything else it's just brilliant he's over the whole thing."

"He's been such a huge part of what this Munster squad is, "O'Callaghan continued, "and although someone has to lose out and that's a tough thing on them, it's a great boost to have him in for this game."

And speaking of this game, O'Callaghan expects the same intensity of any of the big games Munster have played in before. "This will be right up there with the toughest we've ever faced. They'll fancy their chances, in fact they make no bones but that they're coming here to win. That's the confidence they have.

"So what we have to do is just get every aspect of our game right for every minute of the eighty odd that'll be played. We're guaranteed nothing unless we win and that's our mindset."

"Home advantage is great and it goes without saying how important our supporters are.They deliver in spades off the pitch but we have to do it between the touchlines."

"The incentive for us is not just getting to the next stage. It's getting there with a home advantage because we realise how important a home quarter final is to the economy of this region and even more particularly so in these tough times."

Munster: P Warwick; D Howlett, K Earls, J de Villiers, D Hurley; T O'Leary, R O'Gara; W du Preez, D Fogarty, J Hayes, D O'Callaghan, P O'Connell; A Quinlan, N Ronan, D Wallace. Replacements: D Varley, M Horan, T Buckley, D Ryan, J Coughlan, P Stringer, L Mafi, I Dowling.

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