Niall O'Donovan
British & Irish Cup squad Manager Niall O'Donovan pictured here with former Munster scrum-half Mike Prendergast
Dan Sheridan
Costello's Side Face A Tough One
1 January 2012, 10:00 am
By The Editor
Coach Ian Costello and Team Manager Niall O'Donovan will know exactly what to expect from tonight's British & Irish Cup quarter final clash with Ulster in Ravenhill.
The aptly named Ravens went through the Pool stages unbeaten while Costello's side took the scenic route albeit competing in a far more competitive group than their opponents tonight.

Whether or which, Ulster have home advantage and the night before Ulster take on Clermont in France, expect Ravenhill to be heaving with supporters who wouldn't be noted for their adventure for travel so associated with their Munster brethren.

Munster have a great Academy structure and have an abundance of talent coming through the ranks." says Ravens coach, the very personable Gary Longwell. " As with all Munster teams, we are expecting a very tough game. They will be strong up front and we will need to match them physically if we want to progress further in this competition. But it's a challenge that the player and coaching staff are all relishing. "

It's a challenge Billy Holland and his corps will meet head-on. Sean Scanlon and Luke O'Dea have RaboDirect PRO12 experience, Duncan Williams and Scott Deasy likewise in abundance.

In training this week the B&I pack gave as good as they got in the scrum set-to with the senior side and there'll be a welcome return to action after injury from the bench by Mick Sherry, Declan Cusack and Ivan Dineen.

Last time the sides met was at the semi final stage in the inaugural year, Munster winning with two tries from Jeremy Manning.

That was a close run affair.

So will this one be tonight.

Munster: Sean Scanlon; Luke O'Dea, Will Chambers, JJ Hanrahan, Ronan O'Mahony; Scott Deasy, Duncan Williams; Dave Kilcoyne, Sean Henry, Christy Condon; Dave Foley, Ian Nagle; Billy Holland capt, Brian O'Hara, Paddy Butler. Replacements: Mike Sherry, John Ryan, Brian Hayes, Shane Buckley, Cathal Sheridan, Declan Cusack, Ivan Dineen.

Ulster Ravens: Conor Gaston; Michael Allen, Chris Farrell, Luke Marshall, Chris Cochrane; Paddy Jackson, Blane McIlroy; Paddy McAllister, Nigel Brady (capt), Jerry Cronin; Tim Barker, Neil McComb; Conor Joyce, Ali Birch, Mike McComish. Replacements: Niall Annett, Conor Carey, Richard Lutton, James Simpson, Iain Henderson, Ian Porter, James McKinney

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