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Team Named | #ClassicMunster Side For 2006 European Cup Final

20th May 2020 By The Editor

The Munster players take to the field in the 2006 European Cup final.

The Munster players take to the field in the 2006 European Cup final. Inpho

Munster coach Declan Kidney has made one change from the side that crushed Leinster in the semi-finals, ahead of the European Cup final against Biarritz in Cardiff.

The game will be streamed ‘live’ below tonight at 7.30pm to mark the 14-year anniversary of the clash.

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Kidney has recalled fit-again prop Marcus Horan to replace Argentine Federico Pucciariello in the frontrow, while Biarritz welcome back captain Thomas Lievremont, at the expense of Thierry Dusautoir.

Otherwise Kidney’s side has been given a clean bill of health regarding slight fitness concerns Paul O’Connell and John Kelly, while fly-half Ronan O’Gara has recovered from the stomach bug that forced him to miss training earlier this week.

Munster captain Anthony Foley has urged caution ahead of the Millennium Stadium showdown, warning Munster “have no divine right to win it” ahead of their clash with the French champions.

Kidney’s side are marginal favourites to make it third time lucky and land European rugby’s biggest prize.

Munster have reached the knock-out stages every season since 1998, and will be spurred on by the painful memories of failed final attempts against Northampton in 2000 and Leicester two years later.

Foley and company return to the scene of that Leicester defeat tomorrow, while Biarritz are contesting their first European showpiece after experiencing semi-final heartache during the past two seasons.

“We have no divine right to win it,” said Foley, aware that Munster will have an overwhelming majority of support among a 74,000-plus sell-out crowd.

“We have a 50-50 chance, and we will give it our best shot. We are treating it as just another game, and hopefully we can get the performance and result.

“I don’t think what has happened to us in the past really matters coming into this game. If we get caught up in all the buzz and hype and don’t focus on our jobs, then we could find ourselves a lot of points behind.”

“Tomorrow has all the makings of a great game, and all we can do is focus on ourselves,” said Kidney. “It is a pretty daunting task coming up against a side like Biarritz, and you never really know how it is going to pan out — it is just a brilliant opportunity for everyone involved.”

Munster: S Payne; A Horgan, J Kelly, T Halstead, I Dowling; R O’Gara, P Stringer; M Horan, J Flannery, J Hayes, D O’Callaghan, P O’Connell, D Leamy, D Wallace, A Foley (C).

Replacements: D Fogarty, F Pucciariello, M O’Driscoll, A Quinlan, T O’Leary, J Manning, R Henderson.

Biarritz: N Brusque; J-B Gobelet, P Bidabe, D Traille, S Bobo; J Peyrelongue, D Yachvili; P Balan, B August, C Johnson, J Thion, D Couzinet, S Betsen, I Harinordoquy, T Lievremont (C).

Replacements: B Noirot, B Lecouls, O Olibeau, T Dusautoir, M Carizza, J Dupuy, F Martin Arramburu


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