Assistant coach Greig Oliver realises that victory is essential — Munster are five points adrift of Worcester in second place — as his side slugs it out with a team that produced a 27-23 win in the corresponding tie at Sixways back in October, courtesy of a 76th minute try by flanker Sam Betty.
“Worcester are going strong in the England. It’s a big ask for our boys; we played really well over there but just didn’t manage the game really well in the final five minutes or so. Yet, the boys know now they can match them without huge fear, so that augers well for a good game.”
However, because of injuries within the overall Munster squad, the A team announced yesterday has a decidedly inexperienced look about it.
As Munster prepare for tomorrow’s European clash with Clermont Auvergne, those injuries have precluded availability of more seasoned players for this evening’s encounter.
Johnny Holland’s unavailability (torn hamstring) means rookie out-half David Johnston makes a first B&I start at out-half alongside Jamie Glynn.
There are some of a more seasoned guard to help out, amongst them Ivan Dineen, Ronan O’Mahony, Dave O’Callaghan and Christy Condon.
MUNSTER A: G O’Shea, D Sweetnam, I Dineen, R Scannell, R O’Mahony, D Johnston, J Glynn, C Condon, N Scannell, M Kelly, D O’Callaghan, S McCarthy, S Buckley, R Murphy, J O’Donoghue (captain)
Replacements: M Abbott, A N Other, L Nicholas, J McSwiney, J Cullen, S Fitzgerald, D Goggin.
WORCESTER WARRIORS: B Howard, J Atkins, A Grove, R Fatiaki, D Hammond, I Mieres, JB Bruzulier (captain), O Fainga’anuku, B Sowrey, R O’Donnell, J Percival, D Sanderson, R de Carpentier, M Gilbert, M Cox.