Stringer ponders flying visit to Falcons

Off the field business has provided another unwelcome diversion from Munster’s crucial RaboDirect Pro12 clash with Cardiff Blues at Thomond Park tonight, with news of a second loan move by Peter Stringer fromSaracens to Newcastle Falcons.

Stringer’s future with Munster could hinge on whether Tomás O’Leary, strongly linked with Perpignan, moves to France.

If O’Leary leaves, it seems incomprehensible that the two-time Heineken Cup champions would allow another man with vast experience and skill move on.

More than one club in England, including Leicester Tigers are in the mix, although an announcement by Munster yesterday stated he wouldreturn to their ranks following his few months with the Falcons, albeit only for a few weeks to bring him to the end of a current contract.

The Irish international has been on loan to Saracens since December providing cover to the Premiership champions following serious injuries to Neil de Kock and Richard Wigglesworth. Stringer will be available for Falcon’s game against Harlequins on March 12 and shouldSaracens win the Heineken Cup, Stringer’s appearances will guarantee him a third European medal. Meanwhile, Munster make five changes from the side that started against Treviso for tonight’s match. Ian Keatley, Felix Jones, Tommy O’Donnell, Billy Holland and Marcus Horan all come in to replace Ronan O’Gara, Denis Hurley, Peter O’Mahony, Donnacha Ryan and Wian du Preez respectively.

Assistant coach Anthony Foley expects a huge challenge from the Blues: “We were fortunate to win our fourth round tie over there this season,” he said.

The Welsh side are missing incoming Munster import Casey Laulala who is ruled out of tonight’s clash with a hamstring injury.

The former All Black has penned a two-year deal to join Munster next season following three campaigns with the Welsh club.

Laulala would have been keen to impress during his final display inLimerick, before crossing the IrishSea in the summer.

Munster: F Jones; J Murphy, D Barnes, L Mafi, S Zebo; I Keatley, T O’Leary; M Horan, D Varley, BJ Botha; B Holland, M O’Driscoll (captain); Dave O’Callaghan, T O’Donnell, J Coughlan.

Replacements: D Fogarty, W du Preez, S Archer, D Foley, P Butler, D Williams, S Deasy, L O’Dea.

Cardiff Blues: C Czekaj, R Mustoe, G Evans, G Henson, T James, D Parks, R Rees, J Yapp, R Tyrell, S Andrews, C Hill, P Tito (captain), M Paterson, M Williams, M Molitika.

Replacements: T Rhys Thomas, N Trevett, S Hobbs, M Cook, T Young, L Jones, C Sweeney, B Blair.

More in this section

CourtsRugbyPlace: Thomond ParkPlace: FrancePlace: EnglandPerson: StringerPerson: Peter StringerPerson: Tomás O’LearyPerson: O’LearyPerson: Neil de KockPerson: Richard WigglesworthPerson: FalconPerson: Ian KeatleyPerson: Felix JonesPerson: Tommy O’DonnellPerson: Billy HollandPerson: Marcus HoranPerson: Ronan O’GaraPerson: Denis HurleyPerson: Peter O’MahonyPerson: Donnacha RyanPerson: Wian du PreezPerson: Anthony FoleyPerson: Casey LaulalaPerson: LaulalaPerson: F JonesPerson: J MurphyPerson: D BarnesPerson: L MafiPerson: S ZeboPerson: I KeatleyPerson: T O’LearyPerson: M HoranPerson: D VarleyPerson: BJ BothaPerson: B HollandPerson: M O’DriscollPerson: Dave O’CallaghanPerson: T O’DonnellPerson: J CoughlanPerson: D FogartyPerson: W du PreezPerson: S ArcherPerson: D FoleyPerson: P ButlerPerson: D WilliamsPerson: S DeasyPerson: L O’DeaPerson: C CzekajPerson: R MustoePerson: G EvansPerson: G HensonPerson: T JamesPerson: D ParksPerson: R ReesPerson: J YappPerson: R TyrellPerson: S AndrewsPerson: C HillPerson: P TitoPerson: M PatersonPerson: M WilliamsPerson: M MolitikaPerson: T Rhys ThomasPerson: N TrevettPerson: S HobbsPerson: M CookPerson: T YoungPerson: L JonesPerson: C SweeneyPerson: B BlairEvent: RaboDirect PRO12Event: Heineken CupEvent: PremiershipOrganisation: FalconsOrganisation: MunsterOrganisation: Cardiff BluesOrganisation: Newcastle FalconsOrganisation: PerpignanOrganisation: Leicester TigersOrganisation: SaracensOrganisation: HarlequinsOrganisation: shouldSaracensOrganisation: TrevisoOrganisation: BluesOrganisation: All BlackOrganisation: IrishSea

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