Munster's Peter O'Mahony. Ben Brady/INPHO

'All in good form' - Munster welcome back big guns as they aim to avoid another derby loss

Connacht defeated Munster 20-11 to get their first win of the campaign in early October.

MUNSTER LOOK SET to go with a full hand against Connacht on Saturday as they bid to prevent a fourth derby loss of the season.

They are boosted by the availability of their Irish internationals with skipper Peter O’Mahony, lock Tadhg Beirne and half-backs Jack Crowley and Craig Casey back in harness after the win over Australia, and Joey Carbery also back in full training after missing the Wallabies win after suffering a head injury against Fiji.

Munster also welcome back Keith Earls for what would be only his second outing of the season and attack coach Mike Prendergast said the internationals have returned with a pep in their step after three wins from three in the autumn series.

“They’re available, they came back in yesterday, came back in a positive manner, all in good form after quite a successful international series. They’re back in and available for selection,” he said.

Munster, in 14th spot, are a point behind and two places below Connacht in the URC table but Prendergast is hopeful that they get this block of ten successive games off to a winning start and they are boosted by their excellent win over South Africa XV at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

“We’ve used 55 players up to the South African game and it’s just getting the combinations. Fortunately, we can see that coming through in terms of players working with each other in certain positions, and you need that.

mike-prendergast Mike Prendergast. Ben Brady / INPHO Ben Brady / INPHO / INPHO

“The other side of it, it gave good exposure to some of the younger players that in the medium to long-term will stand to us. It gave us a few headaches going forward as well because a lot of those young players have performed well. 

“Even in terms of training together, it’s good to have numbers, good to have bodies back, and they’re bringing enthusiasm and energy which is great and positive going forward.”

Connacht defeated Munster 20-11 to get their first win of the campaign in early October but Prendergast is hopeful his side have improved a lot since then.

Our game has evolved. You look back since the Bulls game there has been a bit more consistency around our game, but there needs to be a lot more. I think that will come as we come along, getting the combinations together, but it’s something that has improved game by game.

“We’re in a decent enough place in terms of coming off our last game, with the performance against South Africa, but we know it’s a one-off game and all that matters now is what happens next Saturday against a good Connacht side that have won three of their last four games,” he added.

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