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Dowling Back For Munster

14th February 2008 By Munster Rugby

Dowling Back For Munster

Ian Dowling, out of action since late December, returns to the Munster starting XV for the trip to Scotland and the clash with third from top Edinburgh at Murrayfield in the Magners League tomorrow evening (7.30pm).

Dowling who had been in a rich vein of form injured a knee in that game against Connacht but is included in a starting XV alongside Mick O’Driscoll whose introduction in the international against France last weekend co-incided with a dramatic turn around in Ireland’s fortune. His colleague from that day Peter Stringer and Tony Buckley are also named in the Munster pack as is Alan Quinlan.

Edinburgh lie third in the table thanks to four succcessive League wins leaving Munster coach Declan Kidney under no illusions about the task facing his side, “This is a huge game for us at what is a very important stage of the season. Their record here at Murayfield in both Magners League and Heineken Cup has been very impressive. They’ve built up good momentum and so we’re under no illusions about the task we face.

“Earlier losses at home,” continued Kidney, “means we have to win games on the road and this is never an easy place to come to do that. But our preparation has gone well, the lads have worked hard and I’ve no doubt they’ll give it a good shot.”

Besides the welcome return from injury of Dowling, Munster also welcome back Paul O’Connell who makes it back into a match day squad having shaken off the back injury that has seen him sidelined all season. “Of course it’s great to have Paul back,” said Kidney, ” after an extended period on the sideline. It has to have been very frustrating for him so we were delighted with how he went in the A game last week in Ulster. He came out of that game fine and trained well since but we need to be careful still with his rehab and believe a placeon the bench is the most prudent decision this week.”

Munster: S Payne; D Howlett, R Tipoki, L Mafi, I Dowling; P Warwick, P Stringer; F Pucciariello, F Sheahan, T Buckley; M O’Driscoll, D Ryan, A Quinlan, N Ronan, A Foley capt. Replacements:  D Fogarty, Darragh Hurley, P O’Connell, J Coughlan, T O’Leary, J Manning, K Lewis.


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