What will be a busy and exciting Easter weekend begins for Munster on Good Friday when Ian Costello takes his British & Irish squad to Dublin for the semi-final of the British & Irish Cup and the much anticipated clash with Saturday’s visitors to Thomond Park Stadium, Leinster.
Leinster went through the league stage with wins over Esher, Melrose and Llanelli before a 24 all draw at home was good enough to secure a quarter final place and resultant facile 32 point victory over Pontypridd.
For their part Munster, finalists in the inaugural competition, made life diffcicult for themselves when losing their opening game against Cornish Pirates in Clonmel. However they ground out away wins in Neath and Moseley, with a narrow home win against Ayr in Tralee RFC sandwiched in between, before upsetting all the odds when winning 20-9 in Ravenhill against Ulster Ravens
The team that night was: Sean Scanlon; Luke O'Dea, Will Chambers, JJ Hanrahan, Ronan O'Mahony; Scott Deasy, Duncan Williams; Dave Kilcoyne, Sean Henry, Christy Condon; Dave Foley, Ian Nagle; Billy Holland capt, Brian O'Hara, Paddy Butler. Replacements: Mike Sherry, John Ryan, Brian Hayes, Shane Buckley, Cathal Sheridan, Declan Cusack, Ivan Dineen.
Chambers, such a pivotal figure in Ravenhill, has returned home, Williams, Deasy and Holland may be required for duty on Esater Sunday while Foley is injured but Costello will have the bulk of those who campaigned throughout the campaign available for Friday.
For what promises to be a massive challenge ?
"Of course it's a huge ask," Costello agress, " to travel to the RDS to play the favourites. But it's a challenge that we're really looking forward to. We have a quality squad, we have worked extremely hard to get to this stage of the competition and there is real excitement building amongst the players.
"Leinster expect to have massive supporter on Good Friday in the RDS , and whereas we can have control over what happens on the field we'll be looking to our supporters to turn up in numbers and maybe give us the sort of lift that Munster supoporters are renowned for."
British & Irish Cup Semi-Final Leinster v Munster; RDS, Good Friday, 6th April ko 6pm.