Carney to start for Munster after World Cup freeze-out

BRIAN CARNEY will at last get some game time following his exclusion from successive Irish squads in the World Cup.

Carney has been named in the Munster team alongside the equally rejected Irish flanker Alan Quinlan for the Magners League clash with Neath/Swansea Ospreys in the Liberty Stadium, Wales, tomorrow (4.10 pm)

Two more of Eddie O’Sullivan’s discarded players, Peter Stringer and Frank Sheahan are replacements.

Ian Dowling switches to the left wing to accommodate Carney’s inclusion and the only change up front sees Quinlan come into the blind-side wing forward berth in place of James Coughlan who is named on the bench.

Besides the switch between Quinlan and Coughlan, the only other change to the replacements sees Stringer take over from Gerry Hurley on the bench.

The Munster coach Declan Kidney said he was confident that Anthony Horgan’s injury (Horgan has enjoyed a sensational start to the season) was only short term.

“Anthony suffered a slight hamstring strain last week in the game against the Blues, but hopefully he will be back in contention for our next game.”

He was less confident about beating the current Welsh league champions. “It goes without saying that playing the league champions in their own ground is a huge challenge for any side. And we only have to look at the side they’ve gone for to fully understand how they view this match.

“There are 11 RWC players in the 22, and six of those were involved in the Fiji game.

“I know they lost their two opening games, but it was by one and two points respectively. Since then they’ve beaten Glasgow and gone to Edinburgh and drawn so their graph is certainly on an upward curve.’’

Meanwhile, the Ospreys have named James Hook on the bench, hoping they won’t have to use the Welsh star after he has had to endure an exhausting 18 months.

Justin Marshall (calf strain), Andy Lloyd (shoulder strain) and Shaun Connor (illness) are unavailable but all should be ready to face Worcester Warriors in two weeks time.

The coach Lyn Jones remarked: “It was great to welcome back our remaining internationals this week, and it has been a pleasure to have them back in the regional environment.”

Much like the Irish players, Jones admitted that his Welsh international representatives had been through a traumatic month, but believes a return home will benefit them.

He said: “They have had a mentally bruising World Cup but they have been revived by a short break and are raring to go. The hard work now starts in earnest against a strong Munster side and we are looking to quickly get back to where we were last season.”

OSPREYS: L. Byrne, N. Walker, S. Parker, G. Henson, S. Williams, G. Owen, M. Phillips, D. Jones, H. Bennett, C. Griffiths, I. Gough, I. Evans, J. Thomas, F. Tiatia (captain), B. Lewis.

Replacements. B. Williams, A. Jones, L. Bateman, S. Tandy, M. Roberts, J. Hook, A. Bishop.

MUNSTER: S Payne; B Carney, K Lewis, R Tipoki, I Dowling; P Warwick, T O’Leary; F Pucciariello, D Fogarty, T Buckley, M Melbourne, M O’Driscoll; A Quinlan, N Ronan, A Foley capt.

Replacements: F Sheahan, Darragh Hurley, J Coughlan, P Stringer, J Manning, L Mafi.

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