Horan a doubt for Heineken Cup final

Marcus Horan remains Munster’s main injury worry ahead of the Heineken Cup final against Biarritz in Cardiff on Saturday.

Marcus Horan remains Munster’s main injury worry ahead of the Heineken Cup final against Biarritz in Cardiff on Saturday.

The 28-years-old loose-head prop suffered a torn calf muscle six weeks ago and hasn’t played since the quarter-final win over Perpignan.

Munster will know more about his fitness when the squad trains in Cork tomorrow, but the signs are not encouraging.

John Kelly has not been involved in any contact work since damaging his shoulder early in the semi-final win over Leinster and he is a concern as well.

The session at Musgrave Park will go a long way to determining his availability.

Paul O’Connell hasn’t trained since going over on his ankle against the Ospreys last Friday week, but is expected to play.

If Horan is ruled out Federico Pucciariello will again pack down in the front row after recovering from a thigh strain against Llanelli a week ago. There are a number of options should Kelly be ruled out with Rob Henderson, Mike Mullins and Tomas O’Leary in contention.

The indications are that Munster are likely to be unchanged from the semi-final provided Kelly proves his fitness. The make-up of the substitutes’ bench will be interesting especially as Christian Cullen has not been officially ruled out after suffering an ankle injury against the Ospreys.

Munster will need to find cover for Frankie Roche, whose season is over, with Eugene McGovern next in line.

Munster fly to Cardiff from Shannon on Friday and return after the game.

Meanwhile, Biarritz warmed up by hammering Montpellier 57-7 at home last Friday to remain top of the French Championship table on 85 points. They’re ahead of Stade Francais (84), Toulouse (83) and Perpignan (79) with one game left before the semi-final pairings are known.

Biarritz went into a behind closed doors two-day session at the weekend and report no injury concerns.

They head to Wales on Wednesday, via Paris and London.

Munster and Biarritz are scheduled to name their starting line-ups at a joint press conference in Cardiff on Friday afternoon.

Article courtesy of the Evening Echo

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