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Dublin: 9°C Friday 7 May 2021

5 year nostalgia alert! All change for Munster since taking on Clermont & Schmidt

It feels like a lifetime ago but some of the main protagonists are still on the scene.

Clermont's Julien Malzieu is tackled by Munster's Shaun Payne (right) and Brian Carney.
Clermont's Julien Malzieu is tackled by Munster's Shaun Payne (right) and Brian Carney.
Image: AP Photo/Michel Euler

MUNSTER VERSUS CLERMONT in January 2008 had some mighty match-ups: Malzieu v Howlett, James v O’Gara, Ledesma v Flannery and Kidney v Cotter/Schmidt.

Yes, the last time Declan Kidney and Joe Schmidt, the man tipped to take over from the Cork native as Irish coach, met on the rugby field the New Zealanders [Vern Cotter was head coach] came out on top.

Clermont, playing at the Stade Marcel Michelin stadium that is now a fortress, led 23-6 after 56 minutes but Ronan O’Gara and Lifeimi Mafi scores gave Munster a losing bonus point that would eventually ensure that they topped the pool.

The previous game [in December], which we will focus on later in the week, had been a feisty affair at Thomond Park but the Reds ran in five tries to emphatically win, 36-13.

Here are the match line-ups from the game including columnist ‘David Wallas’ at openside flanker for Munster:

(Credit: @phog618 – Patrick Hogan)

It truly is a case of ‘where are they now?’ as Munster are likely to feature just three players [and possibly Niall Ronan] in their matchday 23 for Saturday’s game.

Clermont are still captained by Aurélien Rougerie but the talented back has now moved from the wing to the centre, where he is set to be partnered by Wesley Fofana.

What are your memories of the match?

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About the author:

Patrick McCarry

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