Horgan joins list of casualties

MUNSTER winger Anthony Horgan is likely to miss the opening Heineken Cup clash against Bourgoin on Saturday week.

Horgan, the latest in a long list of Munster casualties, damaged a hamstring in training on Tuesday a recurrence of an injury that kept him sidelined for seven weeks last season.

He has been replaced by Shaun Payne in the team to meet a near full-strength Cardiff Blues in a Celtic League clash at Musgrave Park this evening (7.30).

Leinster, who meet Neath/Swansea in the Gnoll tomorrow, will be without Eric Miller who has a shoulder problem but is expected to be fit for the Heineken Cup fixture next week. He is replaced by Des Dillon. Horgan admitted yesterday: "It's all a bit frustrating. It happened right at the end of the session which seems to be a habit with me.

"It's not anything as bad as last year though, more a twinge than anything else, and I really won't know the extent of the damage for a couple of days.

"At this stage, however, I wouldn't give myself much more than a 50-50 chance of being fit for next week." Horgan added: "I'm not ruling myself out. I will wait until Tuesday because I feel pretty OK There is better news on John Kelly, another withdrawal this evening.

Kelly has a slight Achilles tendon strain but is confident of being ready for Bourgoin.

"It was nothing more than a precautionary measure. I've been advised to keep my foot strapped for a couple of days but I should be fully fit by early next week."

The update on Christian Cullen, Munster's recent New Zealand signing, is that he has been successfully operated on for a torn shoulder muscle and just needs time to recover. However, Cullen is definitely out of Munster's opening games in the Heineken Cup before Christmas and could also miss one - or both - games against Gloucester early in the New Year. Munster will undoubtedly attract their biggest Celtic League attendance of the season against Cardiff Blues this evening. That's an array of international stars on both sides which are finally back in the thick of provincial/club action after the World Cup.

In the red corner there will be a club of nine Ronan O'Gara, Peter Stringer, Marcus Horan, Frank Sheahan, John Hayes, Donnacha O'Callaghan, Paul O'Connell, Anthony Foley and David Wallace.

The blue corner won't be quite as packed but Cardiff can still boast Welsh World Cup representatives Rhys Williams, Iestyn Harris, Tom Shanklin and captain Martyn Williams along with Namibian second row Heino Senekal. Certainly, if Munster are to make any serious impact on the competition, they need a win tonight. Currently lying in ninth place, the chances of ultimate glory are pretty slim but they will still be desperate to make a surge up the table. The same could be said for Cardiff who are one place and two points adrift of Munster in tenth position.

Cardiff coach David Young is a huge supporter of the Celtic League, though not quite happy with the way his side have performed this season.

"I suppose the World Cup threw the whole thing into chaos and it was certainly bad from our perspective.

"I know, however, Munster, whom I would have expected to be up there around the top of the table, were even harder hit.

"It's going to be a very interesting game in Cork now that we both have our top players back," he said.

"Munster had 11 players involved in Australia and we had just five, but we both had a lot of injuries as well. Thankfully things are getting better on that score.

"We're all looking forward to the Heineken Cup but in the meantime we've got a tough assignment on our hands at Musgrave Park ," he added.

LEINSTER: G. Dempsey, J. McWeeney, B. O'Driscoll, D. Quinlan, G. D'Arcy, F. Contepomi, B. O'Meara, R. Corrigan (captain), S. Byrne, P. Coyle, M. O'Kelly, B. Gissing, D. Dillon, V. Costello, K. Gleeson.

MUNSTER: J. Staunton, M. Lawlor, M. Mullins, J. Holland, S. Payne, R. O'Gara, P. Stringer, M. Horan, F. Sheahan, J. Hayes, D. O'Callaghan, P. O'Connell, J. Williams (captain), A. Foley, D. Wallace.

CARDIFF: R. Williams, T. Shanklin, J. Robinson, M. Allen, C. Morgan, I. Harris, R. Powell, J. Yapp, G. Williams, D. Crompton, H. Senekal, a. Moore, D. Baugh, N. Thomas, M. Williams (captain).

More in this section

CourtsRugbyHeineken CupPlace: Musgrave ParkPlace: GnollPlace: New ZealandPlace: CorkPlace: AustraliaPerson: HorganPerson: Anthony HorganPerson: Shaun PaynePerson: Eric MillerPerson: Des DillonPerson: John KellyPerson: KellyPerson: BourgoinPerson: Christian CullenPerson: CullenPerson: Ronan O'GaraPerson: Peter StringerPerson: Marcus HoranPerson: Frank SheahanPerson: John HayesPerson: Donnacha O'CallaghanPerson: Paul O'ConnellPerson: Anthony FoleyPerson: David WallacePerson: Rhys WilliamsPerson: Iestyn HarrisPerson: Tom ShanklinPerson: Martyn WilliamsPerson: Heino SenekalPerson: David YoungPerson: G. DempseyPerson: J. McWeeneyPerson: D. QuinlanPerson: G. D'ArcyPerson: F. ContepomiPerson: B. O'MearaPerson: R. CorriganPerson: S. ByrnePerson: P. CoylePerson: M. O'KellyPerson: B. GissingPerson: D. DillonPerson: V. CostelloPerson: K. GleesonPerson: J. StauntonPerson: M. LawlorPerson: M. MullinsPerson: J. HollandPerson: S. PaynePerson: R. O'GaraPerson: P. StringerPerson: M. HoranPerson: F. SheahanPerson: J. HayesPerson: D. O'CallaghanPerson: P. O'ConnellPerson: J. WilliamsPerson: A. FoleyPerson: D. WallacePerson: R. WilliamsPerson: T. ShanklinPerson: J. RobinsonPerson: M. AllenPerson: C. MorganPerson: I. HarrisPerson: R. PowellPerson: J. YappPerson: G. WilliamsPerson: D. CromptonPerson: H. SenekalPerson: MoorePerson: D. BaughPerson: N. ThomasPerson: M. WilliamsEvent: Heineken CupEvent: Celtic LeagueEvent: ChristmasEvent: World CupEvent: WelshEvent: CupOrganisation: MunsterOrganisation: Cardiff BluesOrganisation: LeinsterOrganisation: NeathOrganisation: SwanseaOrganisation: GloucesterOrganisation: CardiffOrganisation: WorldOrganisation: Celtic League
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