Internationals and injuries leads Kidney to send for back-up

MUNSTER coach Declan Kidney has applied for three new player licences for his Celtic League squad ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Newport Gwent Dragons at Musgrave Park (5.15pm).

In the absence of Jerry Flannery and the injured Frankie Sheahan, Kidney will require the services of an extra hooker to join Denis Fogarty in the squad. Damien Varley (Garryowen) is the man in question and he could yet be joined by clubmate Anthony Kavanagh, needed as an additional back row player.

Also required is Dolphin out-half Barry Keeshan, second highest scorer in all three divisions of the AIB League this season with 97 points.

With Ronan O’Gara on international duty and Paul Burke just returning from injury, Kidney feels he needs back-up to Burke and his other option for the No 10 shirt, Mossie Lawlor.

Good news for Kidney is that captain Anthony Foley, deemed surplus to Ireland’s requirements, is available and expected to lead the team as they bid stay at the top of the table.

Heineken Cup heroes, Shaun Payne, Trevor Halstead, Barry Murphy, Ian Dowling, John Kelly and Tomas O’Leary are all included in a squad of 29 which will be reduced to 22 today.

Also included are Anthony Horgan, who was dropped for the last two games, Federico Puccieriello and Mick O’Driscoll, who have all played in Europe this season.

Wales internationals Gareth Cooper and Ceri Sweeney have both been released to play for Newport Gwent Dragons in Cork.

The half-backs, who both featured during Wales’ Grand Slam, have spent the week training with the rest of the Wales squad ahead of their Six Nations opener against England, but have been allowed to resume regional duty. However, fellow Welsh squad members Michael Owen, Hal Luscombe and Ian Gough are not available for the trip.

“Munster are a formidable team on their home patch but travelling there does not faze us as a squad,” insisted Dragons coach Paul Turner.

“We performed very well in the recent Heineken Cup match in December and have taken heart from that performance. Munster are currently top of the Celtic League table and have been performing very well, especially against Sale Sharks.

“But we will travel with confidence after winning three of our last four since the New Year and I have been pleased with our recent performances. I know we are capable of leaving Munster with a win under our belts.

“Our squad has been disrupted with international call ups but it provides an opportunity for the younger members of the squad to show what they can do. Many of them have already gained valuable experience from Europe.”

Wales trio Kevin Morgan, Nathan Brew and giant lock Luke Charteris are all injured, as is top try scorer Gareth Wyatt. Prop Chris Anthony plays for Newport’s Welsh Premiership club on Saturday on his return from injury.

MUNSTER (squad v Dragons).

Backs: S. Payne, I. Dowling, P. Devlin, M. Lawlor, A. Horgan, G. Connolly, B. Touhy, B. Murphy, T. Halstead, A. Pitout, J. Kelly, M. Prendergast, T. O’Leary, F. Murphy, P. Burke, B. Keeshan.

Forwards: F. Pucciariello, T. Buckley, E. McGovern, F. Roche, D. Fogarty, D. Varley, M. O’Driscoll, T. Hogan, D. Ryan, A. Foley, S. Keogh, J. O’Connor, A. Kavanagh.

DRAGONS (squad): A Thomas, L Hinton, R Fussell, S Tuipulotu, J Bryant, C Sweeney, C Warlow, B Breeze, G Baber, G Cooper; A Black, D Maddocks, S Jones, A Brown, R Wilkes, R Thomas, G Robinson, B Griffiths, A Hall, P Sidoli, J Ringer, J Forster (c), R Oakley, S van Rensburg.

More in this section

CourtsRugbyCeltic LeaguePlace: Musgrave ParkPlace: EuropePlace: CorkPerson: KidneyPerson: Declan KidneyPerson: Jerry FlanneryPerson: Frankie SheahanPerson: Denis FogartyPerson: Damien VarleyPerson: GarryowenPerson: Anthony KavanaghPerson: Barry KeeshanPerson: Ronan O’GaraPerson: Paul BurkePerson: BurkePerson: Mossie LawlorPerson: Anthony FoleyPerson: Shaun PaynePerson: Trevor HalsteadPerson: Barry MurphyPerson: Ian DowlingPerson: John KellyPerson: Tomás O’LearyPerson: Anthony HorganPerson: Federico PuccierielloPerson: Mick O’DriscollPerson: Gareth CooperPerson: Ceri SweeneyPerson: Michael OwenPerson: Hal LuscombePerson: Ian GoughPerson: Paul TurnerPerson: Kevin MorganPerson: Nathan BrewPerson: Luke CharterisPerson: Gareth WyattPerson: Chris AnthonyPerson: S. PaynePerson: P.Person: M. LawlorPerson: A. HorganPerson: G. ConnollyPerson: B. TouhyPerson: B. MurphyPerson: T. HalsteadPerson: A. PitoutPerson: J. KellyPerson: M. PrendergastPerson: T. O’LearyPerson: F. MurphyPerson: P. BurkePerson: B. KeeshanPerson: F. PucciarielloPerson: T. BuckleyPerson: E. McGovernPerson: F. RochePerson: D. FogartyPerson: D. VarleyPerson: M. O’DriscollPerson: T. HoganPerson: D. RyanPerson: A. FoleyPerson: S. KeoghPerson: J. O’ConnorPerson: A. KavanaghPerson: DragonsPerson: A ThomasPerson: L HintonPerson: R FussellPerson: S TuipulotuPerson: J BryantPerson: C SweeneyPerson: C WarlowPerson: B BreezePerson: G BaberPerson: G CooperPerson: A BlackPerson: D MaddocksPerson: S JonesPerson: A BrownPerson: R WilkesPerson: R ThomasPerson: G RobinsonPerson: B GriffithsPerson: A HallPerson: P SidoliPerson: J RingerPerson: J ForsterPerson: R OakleyPerson: S Van RensburgEvent: AIB LeagueEvent: Heineken CupEvent: Six NationsEvent: New YearOrganisation: Celtic LeagueOrganisation: Newport Gwent DragonsOrganisation: IrelandOrganisation: WalesOrganisation: EnglandOrganisation: MunsterOrganisation: DragonsOrganisation: Sale SharksOrganisation: NewportOrganisation: Welsh Premiership

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