GRAHAM HENRY is expected to name his All Black XV to face Munster in the week prior to the 30-year anniversary match at Thomond Park on November 18.
Henry releases the names of his 35-strong touring squad for test matches in Hong Kong (against Australia) and the Grand Slam tour of Britain and Ireland the morning after Saturday’s Air New Zealand Cup Final between Canterbury and Wellington.
After test matches against the Wallabies and Scotland, the All Blacks take on Declan Kidney’s Ireland in Croke Park on Saturday, November 15, three days before the New Zealanders travel to home of the European champions in a game that will also mark the official reopening of Thomond Park.
Henry is likely to rest his front-line stars against Munster as the All Blacks prepare for a clash with Grand Slam holders, Wales, in the Millennium Stadium on November 22.
However, Munster coach Tony McGahan will know well in advance the strengths and weaknesses of an All Black midweek XV before they perform the Haka in Limerick.
Meanwhile Andrew Trimble (25), has signed a new two-year contract with Ulster, which will see the three-quarter play his rugby at Ravenhill until June 2011.
Elsewhere, Connacht are looking to maintain their recent momentum at home when Edinburgh visit for tonight’s Magners League tie at the Sportsground (6.30pm).
With both sides on eight points, this fixture is crucial in their efforts to distance themselves from the bottom of the table.
Coach Michael Bradley has made four changes to his starting XV with Mel Deane back from injury and rejoining Gavin Duffy in midfield. With Liam Bibo injured, Aidan Wynne moves to the right wing. Up front John Lyne starts in the front row alongside Sean Cronin who comes in for Adrian Flavin. Colm Rigney returns to No 8.
CONNACHT: F Carr, A Wynne, G Duffy, M Deane, J Hearty, I Keatley, F Murphy, J Lyne, S Cronin, R Morris, M Swift, A Farley, J Muldoon (cpt), J O’Connor, C Rigney. Replacements: A Flavin, R Loughney, A Browne, D Gannon, K Campbell, A Dunne, T Nathan.
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