MUNSTER head coach, Rob Penney is backing Dave Kilcoyne to bounce back from the disappointment of not being selected to start in Ireland’s crucial RBS Six Nations clash with Scotland at Murrayfield this Sunday.
Kilcoyne has to be satisfied with a place on the replacements’ bench for this weekend’s clash in Edinburgh after Declan Kidney opted to start Ulster’s Tom Court at loosehead prop.
UL-Bohs clubman Kilcoyne had been tipped to start against the Scots as he provided cover for the suspended Cian Healy in the two most recent Six Nations fixtures.
Veteran Munster out-half, Ronan O’Gara was also a surprise omission for this weekend’s Irish game as he loses out on a starting place to Ulster’s Paddy Jackson.
Asked about the Munster pair, Rob Penney said: “Ireland make their own decisions based on their own needs. That is an interesting couple of selections (out-half and loosehead prop) based on the fact they had been backing up to the starters in the previous Test. Other people have leapfrogged them.
“You are always disappointed when the lads don’t get selected, while also respecting the fact that the guys are selecting the group have their rationale behind why they do things.
“Killer’s (Dave Kilcoyne) time will come. He will be very disappointed. He will also realise that his time is coming.
“If you had said at the start of the campaign that he would be in line to be the starting loosehead at international level, you would probably think I was being full of it.
“He has to keep doing what he is doing. If you play well enough for long enough, they can’t leave you out. Don’t get disappointed. Don’t sit on your laurels. Keep doing what you are doing and try to get better. You have no control over selection, no one has. Just keep boxing on.”
Talismanic second row Paul O’Connell, sidelined until April as he recovers from back surgery, took a limited part in the squad training session at UL this Wednesday.
Penney said: “Paul (O’Connell) is progressing. It’s great. We are drip feeding the information from the medics because they don’t want us to get too excited.”
Munster are preparing for Sunday’s crucial away RaboDirect PRO12 fixture against Treviso at the Stadio di Monigo which kicks-off at 2pm Irish time. Delayed coverage of the game will be provided by TG4 at 5.15pm that evening.
Munster expect to have back-row forwards Tommy O’Donnell and James Coughlan available for selection after their call-up to the Ireland training squad this week. Flanker Niall Ronan, who has been sidelined for up to 12 weeks with a knee injury, is expected to feature for Shannon in their AIL Division 1A clash with Old Belvedere at Thomond Park on Saturday as he regains match sharpness.