Munster s 26 strong squad for Friday s friendly with Leicester Tigers (Musgrave Park 7pm) includes six Academy players Darragh Hurley, Tim Ryan, Sean Cronin, Ross Noonan, Gerry Hurley and Tom Gleeson -, five players (Donnacha Ryan, Shane O Connor, James Coughlan, Chris Delooze and Ciaran O Boyle) who have Development contracts and two club players, Brendan Cuttriss and James Downey.
In addition there is the welcome return from injury of Frank Sheahan, out of action since the opening Heineken Cup game last season, Ian Dowling who missed the Churchill Cup campaign through injury and Christian Cullen.
Munster: E McGovern, F Pucciariello, D Hurley, Tim Ryan, F Sheahan, S Cronin, C Wyatt, D Ryan, S O Connor, R Noonan, J Coughlan, J O Sullivan, B Cuttriss.
C Delooze, T O Leary, G Hurley, J Manning, E Hickey, J Downey, T Gleeson, S Payne, J Kelly, I Dowling, C Cullen, C O Boyle, M Lawlor.
Meanwhile Tigers have already played three games. Former All Black Daryl Gibson, who captained them to a 39-19 victory over a resilient Toulon outfit at Welford Road on Friday night in the absence of Martin Corry, said: I think overall we were pretty disappointed. In the first half we had certain goals as a team but conditions did not allow us to control the ball as well as we would have liked.
We went into the game with a view to trying a lot of things and taking things off the practice ground into a match situation. Some things came off, some others didn t.
Now we will all get our heads down in training and we have a good game to come against Munster before our first Guinness Premiership match. Everybody s minds will now be focused on a good week s training because we were disappointed in some of our work against Toulon. They are a side who are rebuilding after being relegated but, like all French sides, they were well organised in defence. And they scored off a couple of our mistakes too.
After missing so much of last season due to bad luck with injuries, Gibson added: Personally, it was good to get some game-time and build towards the new season. It is now important for us to establish combinations in the team and look forward to the Munster game and then the vital Guinness Premiership start against Sale.