Munster Face Strong Dragons Side
25th January 2006 By Munster Rugby
Newport-Gwent Dragons show just two changes in personnel, from the side that started against Castres last weekend, for the trip to Musgrave Park and their clash with Munster (ko 5.30pm)
Munster s focus switches this week back to the Celtic League and the visit of Newport-Gwent Dragons to Musgrave Park on Saturday (5.30pm).
The Dragons currently lie in ninth place in the Celtic League table, just two points adrift of the Cardiff Blues and three points ahead of the Ospreys. As is the case in Ireland and Scotland, Welsh qualification for next year s Heineken Cup will be decided by final placings in the Celtic League so the visitors be not be lacking incentive.
For their part Munster must plan their attempt to retain their top spot without nine of the players who started the game against Sale Sharks last weekend. Four players who were involved with the international squad this week, John Kelly, Barry Murphy, Mick O Driscoll and Anthony Foley have been released back to the Munster squad and they will be available for selection as will Anthon Pitout out with injury since the Connacht (Dec 27th) Paul Devlin and Federico Pucciariello who had to have seven stitches inserted in a head wound received in the Sale game.
Munster s one point win over Edinburgh Gunners three weeks ago provided the springboard for their qualification to the Heineken Cup and it cannot have gone unnoticed that last weekend, in the Celtic League versus Guinness Premiership match-ups, it ended 3-2 in favour of Celtic League sides.
Munster face a Dragons side who show just two changes in personnel from the side that started against Castres last weekend Ian Gough and Michael Owen who featured in that 28-17 victory at Rodney Parade, called up for national duty
Looking ahead to a tough encounter, Munster coach Declan Kidney said, Obviously morale is high after last weekend and that is hugely important going into this game. The Celtic League is a crucial part of our season and I don t think we could have achieved the level of performance we did the past two weekends if we didn t have such a competitive League.
Munster will announce their squad for the game after training tomorrow (Thurday) and the starting line-up on Friday at noon.