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Keith Earls
Munster Facing Tough Task
4 April 2007, 9:08 pm
By Pat Geraghty
Six from bottom plays third from top at the Liberty Stadium with plenty of incentive for a home side that still entertain ambitions of winning the title.
No ALT tag specifiedSix from bottom plays third from top at the Liberty Stadium with plenty of incentive for a home side that still entertain ambitions of winning the title. As things stand they are nine points behind Leinster with the game against Munster the first of the two in hand they enjoy over the leaders. And they entertain Leinster at the Liberty Stadium at the end of the month. So to turn that game into a potential League decider they need to win those games in hand and they will be more than a little disappointed if they manage anything less than five points this Saturday evening.

Munster return to west Wales a week after the crushing disappointment of defeat in the Heineken Cup and although the squad they bring this time shows 12 changes in personnel the Stradey scars still linger. Up to now, Munster's League ambition centred on staying clear of Connacht in order to secure a place in Europe next year. Now, thanks to events in Paris and London this week, there may be no Europe next year, so it doesn't matter where they finish, it looks like the Magners League will be the only show in town next season.

That makes Saturday's assignment all the more difficult for Munster. Nothing to play for except pride and the opportunity to give important No ALT tag specifiedgame time to those who haven't had enough either through injury or opportunity.

To that end its good to see the two Anthonys, Foley and Horgan, back from injury along with Mossy Lawlor, Fedderico Pucciariello and the most improved player for Munster this season, James Coughlan.

Also good to see Brian Carney get another run on the wing while Tony Buckley and Donnacha Ryan can only benefit from further exposure at this level.

Sitting beside Ronan O'Gara on the bench will be Keith Earls who played a key part in Ireland's Under 21 Grand Slam campaign this season

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