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Leadership The Prize

29th November 2007 By Munster Rugby

Leadership The Prize

The prize on offer to the side that wins Friday’s Munster v Leinster clash at Musgrave Park is outright leadership of the Magners League.

And it’s a prize that will give either side a massive boost as they head into the crucial back-to-back Heineken Cup that kick-off the following weekend, in Munster’s case against Llanelli Scarlets in Stradey Park.

Leinster will travel with a full strength side, Chris Whittaker and Trevor Hogan excepted, and their coach Michael Cheika is particularly enthused by the number of supporters that will travel to support his side

“To have in the region of 2,000 supporters on a Friday night is incredible, because this means that a lot of people will have had to take time off work to support the team. As a player you can only feel the benefit of that kind of inspiring support.” he said.

Free travel arranged by Guinness and Shane Byrne as MC on the journey are the enticements to make the journey, with rumours abounding that Dublin based Munster supporters have snapped up the opportunity with glee.

For their part, Munster will be without Alan Quinlan who damaged ligaments in his hand in the game against Dragons and he will be out of action eight weeks. Naturally he was a dejected figure when he turned up to watch his colleagues complete their preparations At Garryowen FC yesterday, ” Of course it goes without saying I’m very disappointed. It’s not just this one (v Leinster) but the ones against the Scarlets just coming up as well,” he said.

“It was a complete freak the way it happened. I was falling and whatever way my hand hit the ground and someone falling on top of me, bent the thumb and that was that. I didn’t think it was too bad at first, thought I might be out for a week or so but then had the medical that showed ligament damage.”

As for the game itself, Quinlan not surprisingly expects a really close match. “There’ll be nothing in it. They had a great win in Wales last time against Ospreys. I think it might have been the first time Ospreys lost at the Liberty so they’re bang on form.

And the rivalry between the sides ? “Nothing really much different than there’d be between ourselves and say Connacht or Ulster. Of course there’ll be a bit of niggle, it’s only natural. Same as any ‘derby’ game if you like. Cork and Tipp in hurling. Nobody likes to lose those games. There’s be somwthing wrong if it were any other way.”


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