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Munster Quartet Return.

12th November 2008 By Munster Rugby

Munster Quartet Return.

No great surprise really when Declan Kidney yesterday announced his side to face the All Blacks that the Munster quartet of Tomas O’Leary, John Hayes, Alan Quinlan and David Wallace were back in the side for the mother of all Tests on Saturday.

No great surprise really when Declan Kidney yesterday announced his side to face the All Blacks that the Munster quartet of Tomas O’Leary, John Hayes, Alan Quinlan and David Wallace were back in the side for the mother of all Tests on Saturday.

Quinlan and Wallace scored tries when introduced against the Canadians last weekend in Limerick but if they hadn’t even made an appearance they were were still odds on to start against the Blacks such has been their form in recent times. Tony Buckley did well last weekend but against a not very testing opposition while O’Leary’s inclusion, despite little recent game-time, speaks volumes for the Corkman’s progress this season not to mention his application and hard work. And ability.

Jerry Flannery will be more than a little disappointed and rightly so, not to be starting but Keith Earls need not read anything negative into being in the 15-22 rather than 1-15. It’s not that his time has come and gone. It’s here and now and just as Kidney would have been happy to introduce him from the bench last May against Toulouse he will will have no qualms about throwing him in against Carter and Co should the need arise.

Meanwhile the All Blacks selectors have gone for their strongest team for Saturday night’s game. They have a back three of Mils Muliaina Joe Rokocoko and Sitiveni Sivivatu. Dan Carter is back in residence at number 10 with Jimmy Cowen preferred as his half-back partner ahead of Piri Weepu.

Up front, Ali Williams is set to play his third consecutive test match and is partnered by Brad Thorn in a pack that of course includes arguably the finest open-side of the modern game, Richie McCaw.

The New Zealand tour party arrives in Limerick on Sunday ahead of their match against Munster on Tuesday.

Ireland: G Dempsey (Leinster); T Bowe (Ospreys), B O’Driscoll (Leinster) capt, L Fitzgerald (Leinster), R Kearney (Leinster); R O’Gara (Munster), T O’Leary (Munster); M Horan (Munster), R Best (Ulster), J Hayes (Munster), D O’Callaghan (Munster), P O’Connell (Munster), A Quinlan (Munster), D Wallace (Munster), J Heaslip (Leinster). Replacements: J Flannery (Munster), T Buckley (Munster), S Ferris (Ulster), S Jennings (Leinster), E Reddan (Wasps), P Wallace (Ulster), K Earls (Munster)

New Zealand: Mils Muliaina; Joe Rokocoko, Conrad Smith, Ma’a Nonu, Sitiveni Sivivatu; Daniel Carter, Jimmy Cowan; Tony Woodcock, Keven Mealamu, Neemia Tialata; Brad Thorn, Ali Williams; Jerome Kaino, Richie McCaw capt, Rodney So’oialo, Replacements: Corey Flynn, John Afoa, Anthony Boric, Kieran Read, Piri Weepu, Stephen Donald, Isaia Toeava

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