Munster are South Africa bound once again

Seán O’Brien scoring Munster’s third try against Ospreys in Swansea last month. Photo: Gruffydd Thomas.

IT KICKED off with Ulster travelling to play Zebre Parma last October and this weekend the URC 2023/2024 competition reaches the final phases with teams fighting for a place in the last eight.

Table toppers Leinster and fourth placed Munster both travel to South Africa, with Graham Rowntree’s side taking on the Bulls on Saturday (4.05pm) and the Lions seven days later.

Munster are no strangers to South Africa and their incredible achievement in May last year was a tribute to their commitment.

The focus is now on the retention of the title and, on their current league form, this cannot be ruled out.

This weekend’s opponents Bulls are in third position, two points ahead of Munster, in the table.

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This is going to be a big test for Munster, who will be hoping to start off their visit with a victory.

The following Saturday’s fixture, against the eleventh placed Lions, would appear to see the odds stacked in favour of the visitors.

Hopefully RG Snyman will be available for this visit to his native home.

As the Investec Cup reaches the last four, Leinster are well positioned for a day out  in Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. They meet Northamton in Croke Park soon with Stade Toulousain hosting Harlequins.

A Leinster v Toulouse final looks on the cards. Many fans are claiming it a pity that Munster just lost their way in the second half of their quarter final in Franklin’s Gardens.

Munster SA squad: Forwards – Scott Buckley, Eoghan Clarke, Niall Scannell, Stephen Archer, Mark Donnelly, Oli Jager, Jeremy Loughman, Josh Wycherley, Tom Ahern, Tadhg Beirne, RG Snyman, Fineen Wycherley, Gavin Coombes, John Hodnett, Alex Kendellen, Jack O’Donoghue, Peter O’Mahony.

Backs – Craig Casey, Ethan Coughlan, Conor Murray, Joey Carbery, Jack Crowley, Antoine Frisch, Alex Nankivell, Rory Scannell, Shane Daly, Mike Haley, Calvin Nash, Sean O’Brien, Simon Zebo.