Rugby - TODAY'S STORIES - IRISH EXAMINER

JJ Hanrahan training with physio Colm Fuller at Musgrave Park this week. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie

Hopes rise for Hanrahan as Penney ponders changes in back row

Munster are holding out hope that fly-half JJ Hanrahan will make it onto the plane for Marseille today as the Irish province head into Sunday’s Heineken Cup semi-final with Toulon.

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STAND UP AND FIGHT:  Munster players including, from left, James Coughlan, Billy Holland, Duncan Casey and Donncha O'Callaghan during squad training. Picture: Diarmuid Greene

Munster can win by playing smart

Four times his Grenoble side have played Toulon, three times they’ve won. The secret is simple.

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Munster fan Darragh Humphreys from Lisnagry, Co. Limerick with his aunt Martina Humphreys and uncle Mike Boland. Picture: Don Moloney/Press 22

Darragh plays leading role for his Munster heroes

There’s an eight-year-old in Limerick reading this piece this morning wondering why his picture is on the front of the Irish Examiner Sports section next to one of his heroes Ronan O’Gara’s column.

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Bath's Ross Batty shakes hands with Peter Stringer after his 101st European appearance in the Amlin Challenge Cup match against Bordeaux-Begles. Picture: Patrick Khachfe/Onside Images

Stringer still proving people wrong

AMLIN CHALLENGE CUP SEMI-FINAL:
Wasps v Bath
Peter Stringer strikes you as one of those men who is never satisfied.

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Hansen claims All Black European exiles lacking ‘mental fortitude’

All Black coach Steve Hansen has accused players who have left New Zealand to play in Ireland and other European countries as lacking “mental fortitude” while the country’s main newspaper has claimed future Irish teams will not be Irish.

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Half-built Velodrome to roll out Red carpet

The ERC has assured supporters that Stade Velodrome in Marseille is ready to stage Sunday’s Heineken Cup semi-final despite a massivere development programme which is nearing completion.

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Revved-up Zebo knows fast start vital against champions

Simon Zebo believes Munster must come storming out of the blocks to produce another of their typical Heineken Cup shocks against Toulon at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille on Sunday.

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Burden relishing cup challenge of facing old master Botha

He may come to regret it on Sunday but BJ Botha has played a fairly significant role in developing Toulon’s Craig Burden into a top-class hooker.

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Stridgeon Toulon’s perfect fit

Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal deemed the appointment of former England and Lions fitness coach Paul Stridgeon as the missing ingredient in their quest for a Top 14 and Heineken Cup double.

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Toulon won’t fear us, admits Penney

Munster head coach Rob Penney has admitted Heineken Cup semi-final opponents Toulon have nothing to fear from his side going into Sunday’s showdown at Marseille’s Stade Velodrome.

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Shades of Blacks as Paulie prepares to scale ‘massive mountain’

The mood in the Munster camp this week reminds Paul O’Connell of preparing for a Test against the All Blacks.

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You could just feel Munster all over you, says Puma captain

Argentine captain Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe has been sharing his experience of facing Munster in the Heineken Cup with his Toulon teammates and leaving them in no doubt about the threat they face in Marseille on Sunday.

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Copeland set to miss tour

Ireland hopeful Robin Copeland is in danger of missing the summer tour to Argentina after he was cited.

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Peter O'Mahony

O’Mahony, Toner and Trimble shortlisted for IRUPA award

Injured Munster skipper Peter O’Mahony, Leinster lock Devin Toner and Ulster winger Andrew Trimble have been nominated for the Hibernia College IRUPA Player of the Year Award.

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