MUNSTER play their final fixture of the season this Friday when Rob Penney’s side travel to Parma to face Zebre (6.45pm, Irish time).
While the vast majority of the players who saw action in last weekend’s Heinekken Cup semi-final defeat to Clermont Auvergne will be rested for the game, second-row Paul O’Connell is expected to be involved.
Zebre are seeking their first win of the PRO12 season. Sean Dougall (knee) came through last Friday’s B&I Cup game unscathed after replacing Barry O’Mahony in the second half and could be in contention for a place in the squad as might Donncha O’Callaghan who continues to rehab his knee (medial ligament) sprain picked up against Leinster in the RaboDirect in Thomond Park.
Luke O’Dea was due to undergo surgery this week on his wrist to repair ligament damage sustained against Leinster A in the Interpro clash at UL Bowl in March.
While Zebre are yet to record a win this season, the Italian side have picked up nine bonus points during the season. Munster have won just one of their last seven RaboDirect PRO12 matches, a 22-0 victory at home to Connacht in March. The Munstermen have not won away from home in the competition in 2013 and have lost on their last two visits to Italy. Munster won 29-3 at Thomond Park when the two sides met in round 7 of the PRO12.
Meanwhile, the Bedford Blues have resigned Munster A squad member, Corey Hircock.Talented centre Hircock, who joined Munster in the summer of 2010, played his club rugby with Garryowen in the AIL.