MUNSTER A coach Anthony Foley goes into new territory with an experimental team for tonight’s British and Irish Cup clash with Nottingham at the Regional Sports Centre in Waterford (7pm).
Injury and the week-long warm-weather camp organised for Lanzarote by senior coach Tony McGahan has forced Foley to ring the changes, but he is adapting a hugely positive attitude by declaring it is an opportunity for a number of players to make their mark.
Munster have already beaten English side’s Coventry and Bristol so are in a happy enough position at the top of their group; Foley would be happier, however, with another win tonight.
“We haven’t really been able to do much assessment on Nottingham; what we do know is that they have a fairly tough schedule coming up with nine games in 36 days, so from that point of view we really don’t know what type of team they will send over. We have decided to look after ourselves because we have a lot of changes, we’re concentrating on integrating some new guys in and making sure we turn up to play.”
Foley is expecting it tough, however, noting: “We’re both unbeaten and only one team can qualify from the group so it really is imperative that we win this against a team that we only have one point to spare over. This is a pivotal game in terms of qualification.”
With so many of Foley’s regular line up in Lanzarote, he has had to make seven changes from the side that started against Connacht last week but he remains positive.
“Guys are stepping up; we’re hoping to build on a good tight five, very creative half backs and some young guys coming through,” he said.
“It’s great to see Ciaran O’Boyle back again and we’re quite excited about this lad Sean Scanlon from UCC on the wing, who looks a decent prospect. We have some good ability within that team; it’s just a question of letting them play the game.”
MUNSTER: (v Nottingham): D Riordan (UL Bohs); C O'Boyle (Garryowen), D Barnes (Dolphin), E Moloney (Dolphin), S Scanlon (UCC); D Cusack (Thomond), C Murray (Garryowen); D Kilcoyne (UL Bohs), M Sherry (Garryowen), S Archer (Cork Con); I Nagle (Cork Con), D Foley (UL Bohs); E Kelly (UL Bohs), B O'Mahony (Dolphin), P O'Mahony (Cork Con, capt)
Replacements: G Slattery (Young Munster), P O'Regan (UL Bohs), S Duggan (Shannon), N Melbourne (Clonmel), P Rowley (UL Bohs), A Burke (UCC), B Murphy (UL Bohs).
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved