Peter O'Mahony and Billy Holland celebrate a Munster try. ©INPHO/James Crombie

'No time for soul searching' - Holland urges Munster's 6 Nations stars on

Ulster have also named their Pro12 team for this weekend. It features the names Jackson, Payne and Muller.

THE MUNSTER PLAYERS have been briefed – winning is the only option that remains if they want to make the top four cut-off.

The club has been boosted by the return of Paul O’Connell ahead of their Pro12 clash with Connacht but Keith Earls and Simon Zebo remain out of action after a bruising Six Nations.

Conor Murray, Peter O’Mahony and Donnacha Ryan, players that started all five of Ireland’s games, will be eased back to provincial duties but others that featured in the forlorn international campaign, Stephen Archer, Donncha O’Callaghan and David Kilcoyne, will be eager for action.

Munster forward Billy Holland was just as disappointed as many other Irish rugby supporters with the team’s fifth place finish. Holland, however, has urged his teammates that huge tasks lie ahead.

He said, “They had a tough week last week but I think they’ve parked that.

There’s a big three or four weeks ahead of us so there’s no time for soul-searching. Straight back into it.”

Holland says Ireland were luckless in their defeat to Italy and admits he has never seen three backs go down to game-ending injuries in the first 40 minutes of a match before.

The versatile Holland has covered positions in the back row and second row in his 21 games this season but he is happy to cede a locking position to “inspirational” O’Connell.

“It’s been a very frustrating season for him,” Holland told RedFM’s Big Red Bench, “I think he’s played two games all season.

“The timing of him coming back is massive. It’s given everyone a big boost.”

Pro12 team news

Connacht forward Willie Faloon has been rewarded for the positive impact he has made since his return from injury with the province’s latest player of the month accolade.

He commented, “After getting injured it was just brilliant to come back in last month. Those league wins against Ospreys and Cardiff were great and I’m really glad I could make a contribution.”

“We’ve won five of our seven games since the New Year,” Faloon added, “so hopefully we can back that up with some more wins in the next couple of weeks and improve again on last year’s finish.”

Paddy Jackson and Paul Marshall form the half-back pairing for Ulster’s match in Murrayfield tomorrow night.

There is further good news for Ulster fans as coach Mark Anscombe has named captain Johann Muller and Jared Payne to the starting XV for the 7:30pm kick-off.

Ulster: J Payne; A Trimble, D Cave, S Olding, M Allen; P Jackson, P Marshall; T Court, R Herring, J Afoa; J Muller, L Stevenson; D Tuohy, M McComish, R Diack.

Replacements: N Annett, C Black, R Lutton, N Williams, A Birch, M Heaney, R Andrew, P Nelson.

*Billy Holland audio courtesy of RedFM’s Big Red Bench, follow them on Twitter – @BigRedBench

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