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O'Connell: Magners League is our shot at redemption

McGahan names full-strength squad for Saturday’s semi-final against Ospreys.
May 11th 2011, 1:07 PM 126 0

TWO WEEKS ON from their Amlin Challenge Cup disappointment, Munster will line out at Thomond Park on Saturday evening with a point to prove.

A first place finish in the league phase of this year’s Magners League has handed Tony McGahan’s men a home draw at the semi-final stage, with the Neath Swansea Ospreys providing the opposition.

While the Magners League may not have been the province’s top priority at the beginning of the season, the chance to capture any silverware is not to be sniffed at according to captain Paul O’Connell who feels that Saturday’s game will be an opportunity to banish the memory of defeat against Harlequins.

“We’ve had a few disappointing performances this side of Christmas, no more so than two weeks ago against Harlequins,” O’Connell told RTE Morning Ireland this morning.

“The Magners League is a big shot at redemption for us and obviously for our supporters a home semi-final is a big thing. We need a big performance.”

From our point of view, after the Harlequins game it’s important that we put in a big performance. We need to put in a big performance for ourselves, for the staff, for the management and for the supporters as well.

With the competition now entering its knockout phase, the big second row is conscious that the margin for error is much less forgiving though he can’t see Tony McGahan altering his game plan too drastically as a result.

“We haven’t really been in the mode of chasing bonus points for a long time in the competition. We’ve just been trying to get out there and win games,” he said.

“It’ll be the same again this weekend. Both sides will just be trying to do whatever they can to win and get over the line and into that final.”

McGahan was able to name a full-strength 26-man squad earlier this morning with Donncha Ryan included despite sitting out yesterday’s training session with a slight back strain.

Munster Squad (to face Ospreys): Felix Jones, Doug Howlett, Danny Barnes, Johne Murphy, Lifeimi Mafi, Keith Earls, Simon Zebo, Paul Warwick, Ronan O’Gara, Tomas O’Leary, Peter Stringer, Conor Murray, James Coughlan, Denis Leamy, Niall Ronan, David Wallace, Donnacha Ryan, Mick O’Driscoll, Paul O’Connell, Donncha O’Callaghan, Stephen Archer, John Hayes, Tony Buckley, Damien Varley, Mike Sherry, Wian du Preez, Marcus Horan.

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Niall Kelly


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