Munster ready for Ospreys clash

MUNSTER coach Tony McGahan insists he will leave it up to individual squad members to decide whether to get up at 6am on Saturday morning to watch Ireland’s World Cup quarter-final tie with Wales live on TV or opt for a lie-in as the province prepares for a top-of-the-table RaboDirect PRO12 clash less than 14 hours later.

MUNSTER coach Tony McGahan insists he will leave it up to individual squad members to decide whether to get up at 6am on Saturday morning to watch Ireland’s World Cup quarter-final tie with Wales live on TV or opt for a lie-in as the province prepares for a top-of-the-table RaboDirect PRO12 clash less than 14 hours later.

Several members of the Munster squad narrowly missed out on World Cup selection and will feel an emotional attachment to how Ireland fare against the Welsh in Wellington on Saturday morning Irish time.

However, rising at 6am to watch the last eight clash is not viewed as the ideal preparation for Munster’s key fixture with the Ospreys at Thomond Park at 7.30pm on Saturday evening.

Tony McGahan said: “It is a really pertinent question. We will leave it up to the individuals. Most people have Sky+ at this stage and could watch it later, I suppose.

“But like any live sporting event, when there is a lot invested in it - we have a lot of players who have been involved in the Irish set-up - some for a long time and some for a short time, there are patriotic emotions at play. It is up to the individual really.”

Ireland’s extended involvement in the World Cup is likely to impact on the players who will be available for selection by McGahan ahead of the Saturday, November 12 Heineken Cup opener with Northampton.

“Munster are due to face Leinster in the PRO12 on November 4. Munster’s Irish internationals will have two weeks compulsory break following the country’s exit from the World Cup before returning to the province.

Tony McGahan explained: “First and foremost, we see the provincial set-up as developing players to be good enough to play international rugby.

“While selfishly you would like the World Cup players to come back, for the squad itself and for Irish rugby you want them to go as far as possible. Obviously we hope England go well too because they have a few Northampton players (Munster’s opponents in their opening Heineken Cup pool match). We will make an individual judgement on players as they come back in, depending on how much they have played.”

MUNSTER squad v Ospreys: Scott Deasy; Sean Scanlon, Doug Howlett, Simon Zebo. Johne Murphy, Danny Barnes, Tom Gleeson, Lifeimi Mafi, Denis Hurley; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams, Peter Stringer; Marcus Horan, Wian du Preez, John Ryan, John Hayes, Stephen Archer, BJ Botha, Denis Fogarty, Sean Henry, Dave Foley, Ian Nagle, Mick O’Driscoll, Billy Holland, Tommy O’Donnell, Donncha O’Callaghan, Niall Ronan, Peter O’Mahony, Paddy Butler.