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Preview & Pics | Aviva Awaits

4th October 2017 By The Editor

Preview & Pics | Aviva Awaits

The squad go through their warm up. ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

The Aviva Stadium might not have made for happy hunting in recent outings, but Munster will hope to reverse that trend this weekend in what is their biggest encounter of the new Guinness PRO14 to date.

CLICK HERE to view our training gallery from today’s session in UL.

The prospect of fiercest rivals Munster and Leinster going toe-to-toe in an interprovincial derby is always one to whet the appetite, as much for neutrals as for those involved, and with a return to Europe just around the corner, both Rassie Erasmus and Leo Cullen will look for assured and cohesive performances from their respective sides.

In Munster’s last two visits along Lansdowne Road a sea of red filled the stands with a wall of noise cheering them on in the knock out stages of Europe and the league.  This time around a wave of Blue will envelop much of the Aviva, but with their ever-loyal travelling support and significant supporter base in Dublin ready to don the red jersey, Munster fans will once again make their voices heard at the home of Irish Rugby.

While defeat to Saracens in the Champions Cup semi-final in April met with rancour, the manner of their PRO12 Final defeat to Scarlets the following month was in many ways a far bitter pill to swallow, and perhaps it’s those wrongs on Aviva soil, more than any others, that they will hope to right this weekend.

In terms of the PRO14 season so far, little separates the sides – both sit in second in their respective conferences, both have won four from five, both have secured three try bonus points.  Munster have scored just three more tries (23) than their eastern counterparts while Leinster have conceded just one less (7).

However Munster’s history of late in the Aviva tells a much more one-sided affair.  The aforementioned losses aside, in their last eight derbies at the ground the Munstermen have won just once – winning 34-23 in October 2014.  Such a stat will only add to the men in red’s motivation this weekend.

Leinster in contrast have won on their last four visits to Aviva in all tournaments since Toulon beat them there in the Champions Cup in December 2015.

Last weekend saw the return of seven British and Irish Lions across the two sides – captain Peter O’Mahony, try scorer Conor Murray and powerhouse CJ Stander bolstering Munster in their [in the end] comprehensive 39-16 win over Cardiff Blues at Thomond Park, while Tadhg Furlong, Jack McGrath, Sean O’Brien and Johnny Sexton returned for Leinster where they left it late to deny Edinburgh a well-deserved bonus point – Jamison Gibson Park’s late touchdown seeing them run out 21-13 winners at the RDS.

With his rehab for a pectoral injury having gone to plan, Leinster’s remaining Lion, Robbie Henshaw, is rumoured to be in line for a return this weekend, while Munster could add the services of Keith Earls to their arsenal following his electric performances in green over the summer in which he bagged braces against the USA and Japan – on top of numerous assists – and set a new Irish record for tries scored in a season (9).

Both Erasmus and Cullen will name their sides at midday on Friday, but no matter the final 23 in red and blue, expect sparks to fly as old rivalries are renewed.  And with Champions Cup and November Series selection around the corner, there’s far more than bragging rights up for grabs this coming Saturday.

Leinster v Munster, Guinness PRO14 round 6, Saturday October 7th at the Aviva Stadium – ko 2pm.

Munster v Racing 92 Tickets

Europe comes to town when Munster play their first home game of the Champions Cup against Racing 92 on Saturday October 21 at 5.30pm.

Tickets from:

  • Adults €20
  • Juniors €10
  • Students €10

Tickets can be purchased online here, from the Munster Rugby Ticket Offices at Irish Independent Park and Thomond Park, or by calling 061 421103

Hospitality

Executive Box and Thomond Suite packages are now sold out for this game

1978 Suite packages remain is available and include:

  • East Stand match tickets
  • One course meal
  • Match programme
  • Complimentary drinks
  • Preview of the game with Munster Rugby player

Price: €175pp

For more information and bookings contact Anthony Morrissey on 087 6202530 or click here for a contact form.

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