Munster chase 'magnificent seven' as Tigers come to town

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent


Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent


Munster chase 'magnificent seven' as Tigers come to town

IN-FORM Munster head into Saturday's mammoth Champions Cup clash with Leicester Tigers at Thomond Park top of the Guinness Pro12 table after a dramatic away victory over Glasgow Warriors.

Munster edge Leinster for top spot in the Pro12 after securing their sixth successive win in all competitions at Scotstoun on Friday night.

Now the province's focus quickly switches to the back-to-back European Champions Cup Pool 1 fixtures with the Tigers, beginning with Saturday's glamour clash at Thomond Park, 3.15pm.

More than 20,000 tickets have already been sold for the big Anglo-Irish clash this weekend and the game is expected to be a sell-out.

Leicester completed a home and away double over Munster in the pool stages of the Champions Cup 12 months ago, results which effectively ended the province's hopes of progressing to the knock-out stages of the competition.

Munster are set to welcome back Irish internationals, Conor Murray, CJ Stander, Simon Zebo and Keith Earls into their squad for next weekend's fixture.

Munster currently sit on top of Pool 1 of the Champions Cup on 5 points, with a game in hand on both second-placed Glasgow, also on five points, and the Tigers who are on four points.

Leicester, currently in fourth place in the Aviva Premiership table, scored a hard-earned 19-11 win over Northampton, who included JJ Hanrahan in their starting line-up for the first time this season, at Welford Road on Saturday evening.

Munster hooker Niall Scannell agrees that the side is facing the second of eight Cup finals this weekend following their nail-biting 16-15 win away to Glasgow on Friday night when out-half Ian Keatley landed the match-winning drop goal in the 77th minute

Scannell said: “We need to win them (upcoming games) to make sure we are still competing in the latter stages of the season. From a national point of view, there really are the big games to put your hand up.

“That is what I will be hoping to do and like I say if you just trust the system, trust the process that if you play well you will get rewards. That is all I can do and from that point on it is really out of my control."