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All Well in Munster Camp

28th November 2008 By Munster Rugby

All Well in Munster Camp

Munster team manager Shaun Payne this afternoon reported all was well in the Munster camp ahead of their match this evening against The Scarlets at Parc Y Scarlets.

It is the first competitive game to be played at The Scarlets hugely impressive new home where 8,000 are expected for the visit of the league leaders. With Tony McGahan back in Australia on a short break, his compatriot Laurie Fisher takes charge of preparations along with Jason Holland and Anthony Foley.

David Wallace and Paul O’Connell had been named in the Munster squad but neither have travelled, Wallace recovering from that neck injury sustained against Argentina is expected to be named in the squad for the trip to Clermont.

The squad arrived into a dismally wet and overcast Cardiff Airport yesterday and made their way directly to Parc Y Scarlets for the eve of match Captain’s Run. Afterwards they went back down the motorway to their hotel on the outskirts of Swansea where after dinner they were joined by their former coach and playing colleague Jim Williams.

Williams of course is over with the Australian rugby team who are in Cardiff ahead of the game with Wales tomorrow in the Millennium Stadium and took the opportunity to catch up with the squad and management.

Although The Scarlets will be without their international contingent, lock Donncha O’Callaghan expects ‘a helluva battle’ tonight in Pemberton. “If the situation were reversed, if we were at home, first game in a new stadium and all that, we would expect to win. They’ll be the same.”

Munster arrive with a Magners League record that reads played six won five, that defeat coming in the last game before the break for the internationals, against Ulster and O’Callaghan’s feels tonight’s game is particularly important.
“From a Munster point of view our season is divided into three sections, separated by the autumn and then RBS Six Nations internationals. So after the first part we are in a fairly good place, top of the Magners League and two from two in the Heineken Cup. But that’s all we’ve achieved so far.

“Now we face into the second part and things can change so quickly if we aren’t focused and prepared. You couldn’t get a more difficult start, away to the Scarlets. Then we travel to France, have Clermont at home, away to Connacht, home to Ulster ?. That’s a pretty tough schedule against really good sides, so if we don’t get things right in part two then part three could be fairly bleak.

“We lost last time out and that was disappointing so we need to put in a performance this evening to make amends for that and see where that takes us.”

And in terms of the Scarlets’ players missing because of the international tomorrow ? “Listen,” says O’Callaghan, “we need to concern ourselves with the lads who we’ll be playing against tonight not those who wont.”



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