Killer Bs boost Glasgow for Munster trip
March 25, 2010
John Barclay leads Glasgow © PA Photos
Munster face a fierce examination from Glasgow Warriors on Friday night as both sides go in search of a vital victory in the race for a Magners League play-off place.
The two sides are level on points in third and fourth as the business end of the season approaches and a result for the Warriors would be a major fillip. Not many teams leave Thomond Park with the points however and Glasgow coach Sean Lineen has accordingly taken no chances with his selection for the game.
He has drafted in his Scotland international contingent a week after they shocked Ireland at Croke Park. As it was then, the 'Killer Bs' back-row will be present and correct, with Kelly Brown and Johnnie Beattie joining skipper John Barclay in the starting line-up.
At halfback there is also a Test-match feel as Dan Parks and Chris Cusiter are immediately called back for domestic action. Graeme Morrison and Max Evans too are starters, rekindling their centre partnership.
Munster will be skippered by fly-half Ronan O'Gara, who will marshal a classy backline. Jean de Villiers and Lifeimi Mafi start in the centre while Paul Warwick adds the weight of his kicking game from fullback. Denis Hurley and Ian Dowling have got the nod ahead of Doug Howlett on the wing.
Donncha O'Callaghan returns to the second-row following international duty and is joined there by veteran campaigner Mick O'Driscoll. Up against the Glasgow loose trio are Alan Quinlan, Niall Ronan and James Coughlan.
"Munster are level with us on points and remain the team in the Magners League in terms of consistency," Lineen said. "It's great to have our Scotland players back and the squad is full of enthusiasm. Every game is now a grand final."
Munster: P Warwick; D Hurley, L Mafi, J de Villiers, I Dowling; R O'Gara capt, P Stringer; M Horan, D Fogarty, T Buckley; D O'Callaghan, M O'Driscoll; A Quinlan, N Ronan, J Coughlan
Replacements: D Varley, D Ryan, B Holland, N Williams, D Williams, T Gleeson, D Howlett
Glasgow Warriors: B Stortoni; P Murchie, M Evans, G Morrison, D van der Merwe; D Parks, C Cusiter; J Welsh, D Hall, M Low, R Gray, D Turner, K Brown, J Barclay (capt), J Beattie
Replacements: F Thomson, K Tkachuk, T Barker, R Vernon, M McMillan, C Gregor, H O'Hare
"Like the Treaty of Versailles, despite all the promises, the new Participation Agreement is certainly not the final solution." John Taylor writes
"We know where we are going and we know where we want to get but how long that will take is anybody's guess." David Humphreys on his plans for Gloucester
Jim Mallinder and Justin Burnell were sat on the same top table, but in different circumstances. Tom Hamilton reports on the Aviva Premiership season launch
Tom Hamilton reports back from the launch of the Guinness PRO12 where there is a renewed sense of optimism with all of the off-field changes to the league