Munster in search of URC points in Wales

Oli Jager expressed his excitement at standing shoulder to shoulder with teammates at the weekend. Photo: Harry Murphy.

IF LAST season’s turn-about is any indication, Munster’s campaign for silverware begins this Friday night in Wales when they play the Scarlets (kick-off 7.35pm).

Munster still have two targets and neither is impossible.

Already into the quarter-final of the Investec European Cup, Munster’s advancement up the URC table is now their immediate task.

Currently 11th in the table, on 24 points, Munster face a side who are in 13th place, on 12 points and fourth from the bottom.

Among those returning from injury is Oli Jager.

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At this week’s media briefing, Jager said: “I’m very excited about returning to action and getting some game time this weekend. We have had a poor run around December in the URC but we are full of confidence in what we do. We just need to stick to the basics and game-plan.”

Asked about his call-up to the Ireland camp Jager remarked: “It was awesome to be with such high-profile players like Tadhg Furlong.”

It was a delight against Italy on Sunday to see local boys Craig Casey and Calvin Nash star for an Irish team that has sparkled brightly since the disappointment of the World Cup defeat.

The Shannon man contributed his usual energetic performance while the Young Munster wing became the first Irish player to score a try on his Six Nations debut since Simon Zebo in Cardiff in 2015.

The atmosphere in the Aviva Stadium was electric and the two remaining Six Nations home fixtures there promise to be mouth-watering events. It is difficult to find fault in any of the selections made by Andy Farrell so far this season, every slot is filled seamlessly and the winning performances of the Ireland Under 20s indicate that a rich crop of talent awaits.

Meanwhile, what a servant Limerick’s Joy Neville has been to rugby, both as a player and official, and it was with mixed feelings we learned of late that she is to bow out of the international stage.

She has been the pioneer of the women’s game from the early days and while she was also an outstanding player at number eight in her international playing days, she really promoted the development of the game tirelessly.

Neville has certainly more to offer to the game but she for now she has announced that her final appointment will be the Six Nations game involving France v Italy in Paris in April.