Munster duo ruled out

TWO valued members of Munster’s extended Heineken Cup squad will miss the May 24 final at the Millennium Stadium because of injury.

Barry Murphy and Niall Ronan are both out after sustaining thumb injuries in Wednesday’s Magners League loss to Ulster at Ravenhill.

Murphy suffered a dislocation and will be out of action for between four and six weeks. Ravenhill has become an unhappy hunting ground for the Limerick man. He also missed the 2006 Heineken Cup final when, in the same venue in early March 2006, he broke his ankle.

The unfortunate Murphy worked assiduously to get into the match-day 22 for last Sunday’s Heineken Cup semi-final final win over Saracens, and had put himself in strong contention — form permitting — for a place on the match-day squad against Toulouse.

Ronan is also ruled out for the next six to eight weeks after he suffered a dislocation and fracture of his thumb. Both players provided cover in key positions, and Declan Kidney will now need to source those replacements immediately.

Keith Earls, who withdrew before kick off on Wednesday with a stomach complaint is recovering but is not included in the squad for tomorrow’s Magners League game against Llanelli Scarlets in Stradey Park.

Kidney has named his strongest available squad for the trip to south west Wales, including 21 of the squad from last weekend’s Heineken Cup semi-final win in Coventry.

MUNSTER SQUAD (V SCARLETS): Backs: D Hurley, S Payne, D Howlett, I Dowling, K Lewis, B Carney, A Horgan, R Tipoki, L Mafi, P Stringer, T O’Leary, P Warwick, R O’Gara.

Forwards: M Horan, F Pucciariello, J Hayes, T Buckley, F Sheahan, J Flannery, D O’Callaghan, M O’Driscoll, P O’Connell, D Ryan, A Quinlan, D Wallace, D Leamy, A Foley


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