MUNSTER flanker Niall Ronan is set for a lie-in on Saturday morning as his preparations for the province’s glamour RaboDirect PRO 12 tie with the Ospreys at Thomond Park later that evening takes precedent over watching Ireland’s mammoth World Cup quarter-final tie with Wales in Wellington.
Ronan explained that he would record Ireland’s clash with the Welsh, which has a 6am kick-off on Saturday, and instead watch a it later that morning. Munster will aim to claim top spot in the RaboDirect PRO12 at the end of the six-game opening section at Thomond Park on Saturday (7.30pm) when they lock horns with the Ospreys in their top-of-the-table clash.
Twenty nine-year-old Ronan said the Munster players - despite the absence of their World Cup stars - had set themselves a target of sitting pretty at the top of the table after the first segment of games.
“To be honest, I will be preparing for our game, so I won’t be getting up at 6am to watch the Ireland match live,” Niall Ronan explained this week.
“I will Sky+ the game. I won’t turn on my phone or look at my messages til 8.30am or 9am. So hopefully no one spoils it for me! We have a big game on Saturday evening. If you were to get up for 6am, then you would need to go back to bed. Some guys would do that. But I have a routine for home games. I get up a certain time. I eat and then relax for the rest of the day. If you get up at 6am, you would be tired come 7.30pm.”
Munster surrendered top spot in the PRO12 on Friday night after their four-game winning run in this season’s competition was ended by Edinburgh. Pacesetters the Ospreys enjoy a three-point lead on Tony McGahan’s men.
“We had a goal for the first six games to finish top of the table. We have the chance to do that now with a win over the Ospreys,” Niall Ronan said.
“We have to work on our weaknesses from last weekend’s game. We are playing at Thomond Park. We love playing there. Hopefully, we can produce a performance and get a victory.
“It was a disappointing performance against Edinburgh on Friday night. There was some bad-decision making and we gave away a number of soft penalties. It was hard to take obviously having won our first four games.
“It was difficult. In fairness, Edinburgh played very well. It was a tough game. Hopefully we can move on from our disappointment.”
Doug Howlett, who was rested last week, and Marcus Horan, who was ill, and BJ Botha are in line to return to the Munster squad for Saturday evening’s game. It is unlikely Tomas O’Leary will be available, however.
Following Saturday game, the PRO12 will take a break until Friday, October 28 when Munster host Aironi at Musgrave Park.
Meanwhile, Munster are hopeful a work permit for centre Will Chambers will be sorted within the next two weeks. Aussie Chambers joins on a short-term contract.