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Dublin: 7 °C Tuesday 12 November, 2019

Munster name squad ahead of Ospreys showdown

Paul O’Connell and Donnacha Ryan named in 28-man panel.

Paul O'Connell looks on as Donncha O'Callaghan into the tackle bags at Garryowen RFC in Dooradoyle, Co Limerick today.
Paul O'Connell looks on as Donncha O'Callaghan into the tackle bags at Garryowen RFC in Dooradoyle, Co Limerick today.
Image: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

AHEAD OF THE clash with Ospreys on Sunday lunchtime, Munster have named Paul O’Connell and Donnacha Ryan in their 28-man squad today.

Munster face the Welsh side in the first of two back-to-back clashes that will decide which team goes into January at the head of Pool 3.

Munster sit top the pool as things stand but they are just one point ahead of Ospreys.

O’Connell is back in the squad after a lengthy absence caused by a groin problem. He returned to Munster colours as a second-half replacement in Munster’s Magners League victory against Cardiff on Saturday, having played with his club Young Munster against Shannon a week previously.

But head coach Tony McGahan said today that O’Connell’s return to full action cannot be rushed and they’ll make ‘the right call for Paul’.

Donnacha Ryan returns because a three-week suspension imposed during the November Internationals has ended.

The 23-man match-day squad is due to be named on Friday at noon.

Check out the full squad on Munster Rugby’s official site.

Ospreys’ coach Sean Holley, meanwhile, says that his side will have to take it up a notch to see off Munster.

Simon Lewis in the Irish Examiner this morning reported that Holley thinks he’ll require a ‘special performance’ to avoid a repeat of the  43-9 quarter-final drubbing at Thomond Park in 2009. And he began with a Thomond cliche:

You can never write Munster off. They have laid the foundations and, after all the time of trying, there is a legacy there now.

They have worked hard to get where they are now — just ask our forwards coach Jonathan Humphreys, because when he played Munster at the end of his career, he was playing in front of just a couple of hundred people at Thomond Park.

Now they have big stands, have won a couple of Heineken Cups, have won the Magners and are currently top of the Magners and our Heineken Cup group.

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