Historic Munster/Maori All Black clash sold out

Historic Munster/Maori All Black clash sold out


Photo: © Pat Flynn 2016
Munster returned to training today ahead of their meeting with the Maori All Blacks – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2016

25,600 supporters will be there to witness Munster take on the Maori All Blacks for the first time at a sold-out Thomond Park this coming Friday night at 7.30pm.

The third sell out in as many home games for the Munster men, the Maori All Blacks are the third international side to play at Thomond Park since its redevelopment following the All Blacks in 2008 and Australia in 2010.

Meanwhile, Munster returned to training this afternoon at their High Performance Centre at the University of Limerick.

There are no fresh injury concerns for Munster boss Rassie Erasmus while a trio of newcomers have arrived in the province.

Jaco Taute, who was replaced after 32 minutes on Friday night during the Pro12 clash with Ospreys in Cork, received stitches above his eye but is expected to return to training as the week progresses.

Dave Foley (elbow) returns to full training this week, while Jean Kleyn (knee) is expected to return to full training the week of Munster’s round 9 PRO12 game against Treviso.

With long-term injury to Cathal Sheridan (ankle), and Conor Murray unavailable through International commitments, Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus has bolstered his options available at scrumhalf.

Munster Rugby have recruited the services of Ulster’s Angus Lloyd and Bay of Plenty halfback Te Aihe Tomaas injury cover on short-term loans, and both players will join the squad today in Limerick.

Dublin-native Lloyd has made one PRO12 appearance for the northern province with the 24-year-old featuring for Munster A at Naas RFC last April, while 23-year-old Toma made 34 appearances for the Bay of Plenty and lined out for the Highlanders on three occasions during the 2016 Super Rugby season.

Fellow short-term signing, prop Thomas du Toit, has also linked up with the squad today.

Continuing to rehab – Dave O’Callaghan (shoulder), Kevin O’Byrne (elbow), Sean McCarthy (knee), Mark Chisholm (concussion), Mike Sherry (back), Cathal Sheridan (ankle).

Once again this weekend a large number of Munster representatives from the senior and academy ranks lined out for their respective clubs in the All Ireland League.

In Division 1A, Young Munster moved to the top of the table after a hard fought win over St Marys at Templeville Rd in which the academy’s Dan Goggin (brace) and Gavin Coombes both crossed for tries. Following on from his PRO12 debut off the bench for Munster against Ospreys the night previous, Abrie Griesel also started for the Cookies.

At Temple Hill, the academy’s Shane Daly, Ned Hodson, Liam O’Connor and Rory Burke all helped Cork Constitution move into the top four with a 31-15 win over Terenure College, Daly bagging a second half try.

Elsewhere, David Johnston, returning centre Sammy Arnold and the academy’s Steven McMahon and Sean O’Connor all travelled to the Belfield Bowl with Garryowen. Johnston crossed for the Sky Blues’ only try but it was not enough as they lost 23-16 to UCD.

Old Belvedere climbed to fourth in the standings, helped hugely by Munster’s Steve Crosbie who kicked five penalties as Belvedere overcame Clontarf 13-20 at Castle Avenue.

Shannon recorded their first win of the campaign with a 17-10 victory over Dolphin on the back pitch at Thomond Park. Academy back rower John Foley started at number 8 for the hosts while another player that featured in Munster’s win over Ospreys, John Madigan, lined out in the second row for Dolphin.

Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.