The Munster squad and management flew out of Shannon Airport this morning to Faro en route to Browns Sports & Leisure Centre in Vilamoura for a week long training camp.
Included in the 43 strong squad were newcomers this season, French international prop Julien Brugnaut, the former Connacht player Danny Riordan former Ireland Under 20 full-back Felix Jones, Kiwi scum-half Toby Morland and Limerick's Damien Varley who played his rugby last season with London Wasps.
The party includes Munster's Lions contingent although those players will return home on Sunday while their colleagues remain until Wednesday ahead of the season opener against Sale Sharks in Cork on Friday.
Also included on the Portugal trip are Tomas O'Leary and Jerry Flannery, both reported to be making excellent progress from their respective injuries and Academy players, Scott Deasy, Danny Barnes, Mick Sherry, Andrew Burke, Conor Murray and Ian Nagle.
The players involved in the Lions tour will not be involved in the pre-season friendlies nor the early rounds of the Magners League. With their Lions players reporting for duty to their respective gyms on Monday the squad had their first get-togther of the season yesterday in Thomond Park Stadium.
It was probably the easiest session they will have this season required as they were to present themselves for photography duties conducted by Inpho Photography's Dan Sheridan and Morgan Treacy with Strength & Conditioning coach Paul Darbyshire confined to a watching brief although this afternoon Darbyshire will put them through their paces in Villamoura, the first session of an intense training week.
Munster Squad (Backs): R O'Gara, K Earls, J Manning, D Howlett, L Mafi, S Deasy, T Gleeson, D Barnes, D Riordan, P Warwick, I Dowling, F Jones, D Hurley, B Murphy, A Burke, T O'Leary, P Stringer, T Morland, C Murray, D Williams. (Forwards): P O'Connell, D O'Callaghan, D Wallace, D Varley, D Hurley, T Buckley, J Flannery, Dave Ryan, D Fogarty, M Horan, J Hayes, S Archer, D Sherry, M O'Driscoll, J Brugnaut, D Leamy, Donnacha Ryan, B Holland, T O'Donnell, N Williams, A Quinlan, N Ronan, I Nagle.
Management: T McGahan, L Fisher, J Holland, S Payne, P Darbyshire, J Gallanagh, T Comyns, A Coole, N Tucker, G Murray, M Shinkwin (Doctor).