MUNSTER are back in action in the United Rugby Championship when Connacht visit Thomond Park tomorrow (Saturday) night.
It’s their first game since that remarkable win over South Africa ‘A’ a couple of weeks ago and Graham Rowntree will be looking to build on the positives from that game.
They will also be looking for a bit of revenge after Connacht’s 20-11 win over Munster in the URC last month. Munster currently sit in 14th place after just two victories from their seven games to date.
The game has come too early for Keith Earls whose recovery from injury is still incomplete. The 35-year-old has been out of competitive action since September and was unable to add to his 98 Irish caps during the Autumn Internationals.
Munster are boosted by the return to fitness of Jean Kleyn, Antoine Frisch and Joey Carbery – the latter missing out for Ireland against Australia due to return to play protocols. The rest of Munster’s Irish contingent also returned to the High Performance Centre this week.
Connacht come to Thomond Park in good form with back-to-back wins against the Scarlets and the Ospreys. The Western province will be confident ahead of kick off having beaten Munster three times in the last four meetings.
The game has a 7.35pm start and is live on TG4 and Premier Sports.
The AIL also makes its return this weekend with Young Munster, Shannon, and Garryowen all in action. Shannon are the only Limerick side in Division 1A that have a home game as they welcome UCD to Thomond Park’s back pitch.
Pat O’Connor’s men have endured a difficult start to life back in the top tier of the AIL with just one victory from their six games. That victory did come in the Limerick derby against Garryowen, but Shannon lost their next game away to Dublin University. The game is an important one and a win against UCD could see Shannon jump up the table.
Young Munster sit in fifth and are the best placed Limerick in 1A. The Cookies come into the game off the back of a big win over champions Clontarf last time out and make the trip to the capital to play second in the table Dublin University.
Garryowen are currently bottom of the division having lost all six of their games. A trip to Lansdowne beckons for the Light Blues and although they won’t move away from 10th position with a win, a positive would be a huge lift for the Dooradoyle side.
In Division 2A, Old Crescent are searching for a third win of the season when they make the short trip to Cashel. UL Bohs are without a win from their six games and will hope that they can reverse their fortunes when second placed Blackrock visit Annacotty.
In 2C, Bruff could reignite their promotion hopes with a win over Sunday’s Well. The south Limerick outfit have two wins so far this season but a win against the Cork side could see them reach the playoff places.