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Horgan & Quinlan Back in Munster Starting XV

3rd October 2008 By Munster Rugby

Horgan & Quinlan Back in Munster Starting XV

Anthony Horgan and Alan Quinlan return to the Munster starting XV for the first time this season, for Saturday’s Magners League encounter with Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park. However Tomas O’Leary is a late withdrawal with a leg injury.

O’Leary was named in the squad earlier in the week and now his place in the starting XV goes to Peter Stringer with Mike Prendergast drafted onto the bench.

31 year old Horgan and 34 year old Quinlan bring a wealth of experience to the side having won over 300 caps between them for Munster and also back in the starting XV is Barry Murphy who teams up with Rua Tipoki in midfield.

Up front Frank Sheahan replaces Jerry Flannery and Quinlan’s selection means Donnacha Ryan gets a well earned rest, forcing a reshuffle there with Justin Melck switching to openside and David Wallace at number 8.

On the bench Denis Fogarty, after a hugely impressive showing in the A side’s victory over Leinster last weekend, provides the cover for Sheahan while Mick O’Driscoll, Niall Ronan and Kieran Lewis are other newcomers to the replacements from last weekend.

While a huge amount of public interest in the lead up to this game has centred on a return to the new majestic Thomond Park coach Tony McGahan refuses to get distracted from the task in hand. “It is of course going to be a marvellous occasion and it’s a great tribute to those involved in the construction to bring it to this stage so quickly. But at the end of the day for us it’s a Magners League game, there are points on offer and we really can’t let ourselves approach this game in any different frame of mind than any other game. It’s also our final run-out before the Heineken Cup kicks off and again an opportunity for selected players to put their hands up.” he said.

With that in mind does McGahan have a clearer picture of what side will begin the defence of the European title, “Well you think you do and then you get performances as we did from players in the A game last week in Dublin and it sets you thinking again. But that’s a good place to be and a credit to this squad. A credit to their hard work and their ambition. Of course there is a core to this side for Saturday that wont change for the game against the French but there are places still to be decided and opportunities there.”

Meanwhile, Glasgow Warriors a named largely unchanged side from the Warriors’ 34-20 victory over Llanelli Scarlets though a squad rotation sees Graeme Morrison make way for Andrew Henderson at inside-centre while the injured Dan Parks (knee) is replaced by Colin Gregor. Their Head coach Sean Lineen believes that to get anything from this game his side have to play for the full 80+ minutes and cannot let themselves be intimidated.,”Contact is going to be a big area for us. They had a game against Leinster on Sunday that was a real gladiatorial battle and Munster finally wore them down in about the 74th minute. We’ve got to go right to the end, right to the final whistle, and we’ve got to front up.” he said

“If Munster get some momentum they are very difficult to beat.” he continued. “They have quality players and they are very strong so we have to make sure we look after the ball, tackle hard and make sure we’re not intimidated.

Nor does Lineen believe the omission of the experienced Parks and Morrison will hinder his side’s chances. “Andrew’s an international 12 and is champing at the bit to play, I’d be a fool not to rotate the squad and give the guy a chance.

“Graeme played very well against the Scarlets last week and now it’s up to Andy to show us what he’s got; and what better place to do it – he’s played in front of big crowds before so it’s a chance for him to make his mark on the game”, said Lineen.

“Dan could play if we were really desperate but we have options that allow us to leave him out. Colin Gregor’s done well against Munster in the past, he’s a skilled footballer and I like the way he plays. If he gets the support from the players around him and he manages to make good decisions under real pressure then I think he could have a cracking game.”

Munster: K Earls; D Howlett, B Murphy,  R Tipoki, A Horgan, R O’Gara, P Stringer; M Horan, F Sheahan,  J Hayes;  P O’Connell capt, D O’Callaghan, A Quinlan, J Melck, D Wallace. Replacements:  D Fogarty, T Buckley, M O’Driscoll, N Ronan, M Prendergast, P Warwick,  K Lewis. 

Glasgow Warriors: B Stortoni; Lome Fa’atau, M Evans, A Henderson, T Evans; Colin Gregor, Mark McMillan; Justin Va’a, D Hall, M Low; O Palepoi, A Kellock capt; K Brown, J Barclay, J Beattie. Replacement: E Kalman, K Tkachuk, T Barker, S Swindall, R Jackson,
G Morrison, H O’Hare.

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