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Jerry Flannery flanked by Donnacha Ryan and Darragh Hurley
James Crombie/Inpho
Flannery Fighting Fit
3 March 2008, 2:06 pm
By Pat Geraghty
Jerry Flannery returned to the Munster red yesterday in Donnybrook when he came on as a second half replacement for Denis Fogarty and came through the exercise with flying colours as Munster ropmed to a 30-12 victory.
A suspension, following his last appearance for Munster, against London Wasps in Thomond Park, ruled him out of the early RBS Six Nations games and then, after the suspension had been reduced, a hand injury followed by a slight hamstring strain saw an end to his hopes of participating in the latter stages of that competition.

So yesterday's appearance was both welcome and opportune given that Munster face two Magners League clashes against 'home' opposition (Ulster and Connacht) before they take off to play Gloucester in the Heineken Cup quarter-final. Flannery put himself about during the 30 minutes or so he was on the pitch and afterwards declared himself happy with the outing, "Everything went well," he said, "and I feel good. Obviously I'm delighted to be back. I was meant to play for Shannon last weekend but that game was called off and when that happens you'd be concerned because you can't beat actual game time to see exactly what shape you're in. Now, with that game under my belt, I know I'm in the frame for the games ahead."

Prior to yesterday, Barry Murphy's last outing for Munster was in the A game against Ulster in Shaws Bridge in early February when he sustained a shoulder injury and his return lasted all of 16 minutes, a hamstring strain forcing his withdrawal. But the good news is that it's not thought to be too serious and he is expected to resume training next week.

He was replaced by Mossy Lawlor who has been out of action since the September friendly against Viadana and the Shannon man turned in an impressive display in the Donnybrook game.

Anthony Horgan, a late cry-off for the A game with a knee injury sustained in training, will be assessed over the weekend while Rua Tipoki (back strain) will resume light training next week as will John O'Sullivan (hamstring).

Next up for Munster is the Magners League game against Ulster in Musgrave Park on Saturday week, Munster's third last home game of the season and a crucial one as Declan Kidney explains. " Winning your home games is paramount for obvious reasons but at this stage even more important given we lost last time and still entertain title ambitions. Then, we're facing an Ulster side who are unbeaten under new coach Matt Williams and so that's something else that comes into the mix."

In terms of international personnel, who will or wont be available is something Kidney will not be drawn on, "No, too early to say at this stage.We'll wait and see how they come out of the weekend game."

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