O'Connell may get late call-up, says McGahan

Munster coach refuses to rule out the possibility of his captain appearing against Harlequins.

Image: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

MUNSTER COACH TONY MCGAHAN is in no rush to name his 22-man panel for Saturday’s Amlin Challenge Cup semi-final against Harlequins, delaying the decision until tomorrow in the hope that skipper Paul O’Connell might yet prove his fitness.

The Limerick man was left out of the province’s 27-man squad which was named yesterday after he was judged to have not fully recovered from the ankle injury which has sidelined him for the last three weeks.

On Tuesday, O’Connell took part in his first training session since he picked up the knock in Munster’s Magners League win over Leinster though he did not take part in either the scrum or the lineout sessions.

Speaking yesterday, McGahan told reporters that he was pleased with his captain’s recovery and that there was still a chance that the influential second-row could be drafted in to the panel for Saturday’s game at Thomond Park.

“It’s a possibility. We’re not ruling out anything yet at this stage,” said McGahan. “The team has been travelling well without him so we’ll just have to look at the best fit for everybody.”

He had his first training session with the team on Tuesday and he’s pulled up okay today, so we’ll monitor him again tomorrow and make a decision on Friday morning.

Munster squad (to face Harlequins): Johne Murphy, Felix Jones, Denis Hurley, Doug Howlett, Keith Earls, Sam Tuitupou, Lifeimi Mafi, Paul Warwick, Ronan O’Gara, Peter Stringer, Conor Murray, Marcus Horan, Wian du Preez, John Hayes, Tony Buckley, Stephen Archer, Damien Varley, Mike Sherry, Donnncha O’Callaghan, Mick O’Driscoll, Donnacha Ryan, Ian Nagle, Tommy O’Donnell, David Wallace, Niall Ronan, James Coughlan, Denis Leamy.

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