Munster Rugby v Harlequins Match Programme

MunsterRugbyMatchProgrammes

Heineken Champions Cup Round 1 | A new European adventure begins in a new look Heineken Champions Cup and we take a look at today's opposition, Harlequins, and their form coming into the opening game.

We get the inside track from Mike Haley, take a look at Munster's season so far  and cover the latest rugby news from across the province including Clonakilty RFC's commitment to inclusivity.

FRONT PAGE

v HARLEQUINS | SUN 13 DEC 2020 | THOMOND PARK | 5.30PM

MUNSTER v HARLEQUINS | 13.12.20 | THOMOND PARK

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Every great match

starts with 0.0

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PRESIDENT’S WELCOME

and the entire squad best wishes and success

in today’s game and the European campaign

ahead. It seems strange for all of us not to

be there in person for a European game but

hopefully sometime soon we will be back in

the stands and terraces, cold but happy and

shouting on the team. In the meantime, there

are 800 or so in the stands, who can’t shout,

sing or make noise but are there in spirit! Well

done to all!

This evening we welcome Paul Gustard and his

Harlequins team to Thomond Park for the first

game in this year’s Heineken Champions Cup.

An extended welcome to Jerry Flannery who

needs no introduction to Munster or Thomond

Park. This evening’s game will be one of mixed

emotions for Fla, but he is here to get a job

done and no doubt will have a catch up after

the game with his many friends within Munster.

Having completed a block of games in the

Guinness PRO14 and sitting on top of Conference

B with 7 wins from 7, Munster will want to keep

that momentum up going into this game. Both

teams are well aware of how important that first

game and first win is in this competition. Both

Munster and Harlequins have a long and proud

history in this prestigious competition and this

game has all the elements to be a hard-fought

and highly competitive game.

Johann and all the coaches welcome back the

players from international duty and selection

cannot be easy with so many players in a good

run of form for province and country. I’m sure

you will join me in wishing Johann, his coaches

Congratulations to our own Conor Murray on his

inclusion in World Rugby's Team of the Decade

for 2010-2019 earlier this week. It's a wonderful

accolade for Conor and well deserved. On

behalf of everyone in Munster Rugby, we are all

very proud of you.

The domestic game has moved on slightly with

training now allowed in pods of 15 and noncontact

rugby. While this is not where we would

like to be, for the moment it's all we can do and

hopefully in the weeks and months ahead we

will see things opening up and getting back to

some sort of normal.

Our thanks to our main sponsor Bank of Ireland,

our kit supplier adidas and all our sponsors for

their continued support.

Have a very happy Christmas, hope to see you

all soon. Stay positive, stay strong and stay

safe.

To the brave and faithful nothing is impossible.

Sean McCullough

President Munster Branch IRFU

President: Sean McCullough | Vice President: Ger McNamara | Junior Vice President: Michael Carroll

Hon. Secretary: Muiris Mahon| Hon. Treasurer: Tom Kinirons

Chief Executive Officer: Dr. Ian Flanagan | Head Coach: Johann van Graan | Team Manager: Niall O’Donovan

MUNSTER v HARLEQUINS | 13.12.20 | THOMOND PARK

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EPCR CHAIRMAN’S WELCOME

Less than eight continuing their European adventure in the

weeks after Exeter knockout rounds of the Challenge Cup.

Chiefs became the

twelfth club to lift

this prestigious

trophy in Bristol,

the tournament

kicks off again

with an exciting

new format to meet the challenges that club

rugby has been presented by the containment

of the COVID-19 pandemic. Wherever you are

watching the action, the whole EPCR team joins

me in hoping that you enjoy it.

When the global health crisis struck, we

were well on course to have the final of this

tournament in 2019/20 watched live in the

stadium by a capacity crowd in Marseille. As we

set out on the pathway to the Stade Vélodrome

again this term, we will not be swayed from

our purpose of lobbying for fans to return to

stadiums across Europe.

We believe that it is essential for the sport and

for the mental health of a public and of clubs

who have suffered enough in recent months.

Of course, we say that believing that this can

be achieved safely and consistently with

guidelines of various governments across other

industries.

European club rugby tournaments will be played

across eight weekends on an exceptional basis

this season and that means 24 clubs lining up

in two pools of this Heineken Champions Cup.

With no repeats of domestic matches in the pool

stage, each club will play two opponents home

and away in the December and January rounds.

Then, the top four classified in each pool will

head through to a new, two-legged quarter-final

with the next-best four clubs in each section

The back-to-back weekends that kick off the

season give some mouthwatering clashes for

us to savour the 25th season of Heineken’s

association with the tournament. Last season’s

quarter-final and semi-final are immediately

repeated as Toulouse take on Ulster Rugby

in Belfast followed by holders Exeter Chiefs

at home. There’s a re-run of the classic 2011

showpiece between Leinster Rugby and

Northampton Saints and Challenge Cup holders

Bristol Bears take on European heavyweights

ASM Clermont Auvergne as well as Connacht

Rugby, which will be a reunion for Pat Lam,

among others.

There is no doubting in the quality of the matches

as this tournament goes from strength-tostrength.

We thank our broadcast partners – BT

Sport, Channel 4, Virgin Media, beIN SPORTS

and France Télévisions domestically – for their

dedication to taking the action to homes across

the world, which has been appreciated even

more during the pandemic.

We share this journey with you, the fans, but

also with the support of partners Tissot, the

Financial Times, Gilbert and Kappa, and hope

to be in your company soon once more as we

make our way through what promises to be an

exciting 2020/21 season.

Yours in Rugby,

Simon Halliday

Chairman, EPCR

MUNSTER v HARLEQUINS | 13.12.20 | THOMOND PARK

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Loved in Munster.

Followed the world over.

Always represented.

6 © 2020 adidas AG

WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


MUNSTER v HARLEQUINS

PREVIEW

This weekend a new European adventure

begins in a new look Heineken Champions Cup.

24 teams have been drawn in two Pools and

each will play four pool games – two home and

two away.

The top four teams in each Pool will qualify for

the quarter-finals, which will be played over two

legs on a home and away basis in April 2021.

Alongside Munster and Harlequins in Pool B

are defending champions Exeter Chiefs and last

year’s finalists Racing 92. The pool also includes

Lyon, ASM Clermont Auvergne, Toulouse,

Ulster, Connacht, Bristol Bears, Gloucester, and

Glasgow Warriors.

LAST 3 CHAMPIONS CUP MEETINGS

07.04.13

Harlequins 12-18 Munster Rugby (QF)

30.04.11

Munster Rugby 20-12 Harlequins

15.01.05

Harlequins 10-18 Munster Rugby

HEAD TO HEAD 6 2 0

Munster wins

Harlequins wins

Draws

MATCH FACTS

Munster and Harlequins have met seven

times before in the Heineken Champions

Cup pool stages, with the Irish province

winning each of the last six matches; five

of their previous seven clashes have been

decided by a single-digit margin.

Munster are unbeaten in their last 15 home

games in the Heineken Champions Cup,

keeping their opponents to seven points or

fewer in four of the last five.

Harlequins have won only one of their last

nine away games in Ireland in the Heineken

Champions Cup but three of their last four

defeats there have come by a margin of just

one point.

Munster were the only side not to score

a try in the opening quarter of a match in

the Heineken Champions Cup last season,

however they conceded just one try in that

same period, the joint fewest of any side

(level with Montpellier).

Munster’s CJ Stander made 120 carries in

the Heineken Champions Cup last season,

more than any other player in 2019/20.

MUNSTER v HARLEQUINS | 13.12.20 | THOMOND PARK

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THE UK IS

LEAVING.

THE FT ISN’T.

Stay connected to what matters

in Europe.

Read more at ft.com/europe

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MURRAY NAMED

IN TEAM OF THE DECADE

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Earlier this week Conor Murray was named in

World Rugby’s Team of the Decade (2010-2019),

after a brilliant ten years with Munster, Ireland

and the British & Irish Lions.

Murray was named alongside All Blacks legend

Dan Carter in the half-backs as part of a starstudded

line-up that included seven All Blacks,

Australian’s David Pocock at No. 6 and Italy’s

Sergio Parisse named at No. 8.

Conor has played 87 times for his country,

scoring 14 tries and kicking five conversions

and five penalties. The 31-year-old was most

recently part of Andy Farrell’s Autumn Nations

Cup squad and played against Scotland,

Georgia, England and Wales. He kicked 8 points

off the tee when he stepped into the flyhalf

position in the game against Wales.

He made his Ireland debut against France in

2011 and was first choice scrum-half in his first

Rugby World later that year at the age of just 22.

His rise continued with selection for the

victorious 2013 British & Irish Lions tour to

Australia and Murray once again earned a

starting place, featuring in seven of the touring

games including two Test matches.

Six Nations titles followed in 2014 and 2015 with

the Grand Slam captured in 2018.

He has played in three World Cups and featured

in Ireland’s first ever win over the Springboks

on South African soil in June 2016.

Murray was a standout performer in Ireland’s

first win over the All Blacks in Chicago in 2016

and starred in the Series win away to Australia

in 2018, the country’s first series victory in

Australia for 39 years.

He was selected on his second Lions tour in

2017 and started all three Tests as the tourists

drew the Series against the All Blacks.

In scoring a try in the second Test, Murray

became the first international player in history

to score four tries against the All Blacks – three

for Ireland and one for the Lions.

A product of St. Munchin’s and Garryowen,

Murray is a Greencore Munster Rugby Academy

graduate and made his senior debut against

Connacht in April 2010. The Patrickswell man

won Munster’s Player of the Year award in 2014

and has made 141 appearances for the province

to date, scoring 28 tries, three penalties and

three conversions.

MUNSTER v HARLEQUINS | 13.12.20 | THOMOND PARK 9


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MUNSTER v HARLEQUINS | 13.12.20 | THOMOND PARK

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THE INSIDE

TRACK

with Mike Haley

On coming back into the Heineken Champions

Cup competition…

“We’ve had some really tough tests in the

PRO14 – Scarlets away, Edinburgh at home

– and then the internationals left, and we

really picked up the pace whilst carrying on

for Munster. We are in a really good position

now with all the internationals coming back

and feeding back in the squad. We are raring

to go. It’s Champions Cup weekend and we

cannot wait to get into it. The only downside

is that there won’t be a crowd at Thomond. It

would be all the better having it packed out but

there’s a still a buzz, still a special feeling so

we can’t wait. I think it’s something that’s built

into the bones here, especially by the fans. The

fans have made it this special, and that’s been

brought on by the players and we understand

we have a responsibility on us. It’s driven by

an expectation of past glories at Munster, and

that this is a competition that we want to be the

best at. Whatever it is, when this week comes

around you can just feel the intensity rises, the

buzz rises.”

On Munster’s current run of good results…

“We’ve got a good blend on how we are

playing, how we are defending. We are adding

strings to our bow constantly. We are not

sitting on performances - we are constantly

trying to get better. I think that’s shown in

the performances since the first game of the

season. We’ve rounded ourselves off and we

are getting better each week. The good thing

is we’ve had a wide variety of different types

of games. We’ve had open games; we’ve had

really poor weather games where we’ve had to

grind it out and we’ve shown we can mix up our

game. That’s been one of the best things that’s

been happening for us this season.”

On playing Harlequins this evening…

“They had a tough game against Exeter first

up. Obviously, Exeter are a quality side, and

everybody knows that. They were obviously

disappointed with that, but they bounced back

over the last couple of weeks and had some

very good performances. In fairness, they’ve

just started their league campaign but in reality,

the end of last season wasn’t that long ago for

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them either, so they’ve had a couple of weeks

off and rolled back into it. They are going to

be in very good form, and we are expecting a

massive challenge this weekend. They’ve got

a number of very experienced players across

the backline, and an exciting pack. Obviously,

there’ll be a couple of older heads coming back

to Thomond like Jerry (Flannery), and Jack

Stafford who was an academy player. They are

a quality side. They’ve shown they are there to

compete and we are looking at all aspects of

their play and making sure we know what they

are about.”

On enjoying his rugby at the moment…

“I’m just enjoying playing rugby. It’s good

fun. It’s a good brand of rugby to be playing.

Especially when you’re winning, it’s good fun.

I’m just enjoying each game instead of worrying

about anything else. When I’m in that game, I’m

enjoying it to the max, that’s been working well

for me.”

On the impact some of the up-and-coming

young players in the squad have been having…

“Personally, I don’t think it’s been much of

a surprise. I think being here and training

every single day you see that the young lads

are there, they fill in here and there in games

where they get their opportunity. When the

internationals were at camp, and it was a case

that those guys were gone, and we needed

everyone to step up. It was a massive challenge

that we all embraced. It’s a credit to Munster

on how they feed their academy lads in. When

it came to the stage where we needed them to

step up, they were fantastic. You look at the

likes of Gavin Coombes, Craig Casey, they’ve

been unbelievable for us for the past few weeks

– Ben Healy as well. Those young lads – it’s a

credit to them. They’ve been working hard

behind the scenes where no one can see, and

they take their chance when they get it. So it’s

full praise for them.”

"When this week comes around you can just feel

the intensity rises, the buzz rises"

MUNSTER v HARLEQUINS | 13.12.20 | THOMOND PARK

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WE ARE RUGBY

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Photos © Pressesports


THE LOWDOWN

THE FORM GUIDE

Harlequins lie in 5th position in the Premiership

after three rounds, picking up try bonus points

in their last two games. Harlequins faced

current Premiership and European champions

Exeter Chiefs in their season opener, with four

second half tries from Exeter putting them out

of sight after just 3 points separated the sides

at the break. The following week, Harlequins

got back on track with an impressive 49-29

win over Northampton Saints, with tries from

Danny Care, Nathan Earle, Mike Brown, Alex

Dombrandt, Scott Steele and Marcus Smith,

who added an additional 19 points off the tee.

Last Sunday, Harlequins were on the road once

again, with a visit to Gloucester that saw the

visitors win 34-24. Smith was again on target,

kicking 14 points including converting Quins

four tries, kicking a penalty and a drop goal.

Prop Joe Marler returns to the side having been

on duty as part of the England squad for the

Autumn Nations Cup. Ben Youngs makes his

50th European appearance this evening while

back row James Chisholm lines out for the

100th time for Harlequins.

THE COACHING TICKET

Paul Gustard

Photo Harry Trump/

Getty Images

Paul Gustard joined Harlequins as Head of

Rugby at the start of the 2018/19 season. As a

player he won four Premiership titles and two

European Cups in five years with Leicester

Tigers before moving to London Irish and finally

Saracens in 2006. Two years later he joined the

club's coaching team as Assistant First Team

Coach before taking on the roles of Defence and

Forwards Coach. In his time as coach he won

two Premiership titles and a European Cup. He

joined Eddie Jones's coaching team at the start

of 2016, helping England win the Grand Slam,

back-to-back Six Nations titles and a first ever

series win in Australia. There are some familiar

faces in his backroom team, none more so than

former Munster Forwards Coach Jerry Flannery

who played for Munster 94 times and joined the

London side earlier this year as Lineout Coach.

Harlequins record points scorer Nick Evans is

the Attack & Backs Coach while former Welsh

international and Lion Adam Jones is the Scrum

Coach.

ONE TO WATCH

ONE TO WATCH

Marcus Smith

Photo Tony Marshall/

Getty Images

Pulling the strings in the No. 10 jersey is

21-year-old Marcus Smith, already with 89

caps for his club and scoring 41 points in his

last three appearances. He made his senior

debut during the 2017/18 season, becoming

the second-youngest Premiership debutant

in history, behind George Ford, when he lined

out against London Irish aged 18 years and 200

days in September 2017. He earned a call up for

England against the Barbarians in June 2019

and put in a Man of the Match performance. He

was also named in the England wider training

squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

MUNSTER v HARLEQUINS | 13.12.20 | THOMOND PARK

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MUNSTER v HARLEQUINS | 13.12.20 | THOMOND PARK

17


Shane made his Ireland debut

against Georgia last month

DALY’S STAR

ON THE RISE

Corkman Shane Daly became the latest

Munster player to play for Ireland last month

when he came off the bench against Georgia in

the Autumn Nations Cup.

For the 23-year-old Bishopstown man, it has

been an interesting road travelled. The versatile

back has enjoyed a meteoric rise over the last

12 months as he established himself as an

important member of Johann van Graan’s

squad in the 2019/20 campaign where he made

16 appearances for Munster which included a

Heineken Champions Cup debut in the clash

with Racing 92 in Paris.

Since graduating from Cork’s famed rugby

nursery of Presentation College, Daly has

enjoyed a whirlwind journey as he balanced his

studies in Finance at UCC with a memorable run

with the Ireland U20s to the Junior World Cup

final in 2016. There was also life in the Munster

Rugby Academy, travelling the globe with the

Ireland 7s and helping Cork Constitution to AIL

success to contend with.

make a name for himself in Cork rugby circles

as assistant coach with Cork Con and former

Munster out-half Jonny Holland recalls.

“There would be a big Cork contingent who

have been singing his praises for a while here

as well, it would be no surprise to them,”

Holland tells Munster Rugby. “I think he’s such

an exciting player. He’s put a lot of effort into it

as everyone else does. It’s nice to see someone

with a success story.”

One man who has experience with identifying

talent is Paul Barr. Now working with Bandon

RFC, the experienced coach helped oversee

Daly’s development at Pres and subsequently

at Con.

“Shane would have been more of a soccer

player when he came to Pres first,” Barr says.

Shane in action for Presentation

Brothers College Cork

Daly was a talent at numerous sports in his early

years, particularly in soccer and Gaelic football,

but it was midway through his time in Pres that

the oval ball became his sole focus having first

experienced the sport with Highfield RFC.

Although Daly failed to taste Senior Cup success

with Pres in 2014 and 2015, he was beginning to

“His older brother was also good at soccer and

rugby. James focussing on rugby over soccer

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maturity, technical skill, a mental work-rate to

hone your skill level to the maximum of their

potential. I think that’s very important for young

lads that they have an ethic, a personal ethic to

maximise their skill level. I think Shane had that

appetite as did Johnny a generation before him.

I think that set Shane apart somewhat. Also,

physically, he’s very, very talented. He’s a hell

of an athlete.”

Both Holland and Barr agree that the Ireland

7s programme played a big role in Daly’s

development as it allowed him to hone and

develop the core skills of the sport which he

could then transfer back to the 15s game.

Daly in action for Ireland 7s at

the World Rugby Sevens in 2018

probably guided Shane to some degree. I think

really only from Bowen Shield on that he really

focussed on rugby at Pres. He was take it or

leave it up until then, really.”

Although Daly’s talent on the pitch was evident

for all to see, it was his attitude and willingness

to learn which really stood out to Barr. In fact,

after Daly suffered more Senior Cup heartbreak

with Pres, Barr recalls their conversation the

day after:

“Obviously, he was very disappointed, but I

remember the line of the conversation, Shane

reminded me of it again recently, I said,

you know, losing a Schools Cup is a huge

disappointment for any young lad, but I really

believe he has bigger fish to fry in rugby. I had

the exact same conversation and I used the

same phrase with Johnny Sexton in the years

previously when I was head coach of Leinster

Schools and Johnny got injured in the warm-up

in an Interpro against Munster, played in Cork

Con, ironically.’

“They’re different players but at that agegroup,

that 18-year-old (bracket), you can

see a spark, that physical talent, that mental

Daly’s Ireland debut was a special moment

not only for the player but for his family,

friends and all of those who played a role in his

development. Daly has said previously that Barr

had a major influence on his development, but

the Bandon RFC coach immediately deflects

any credit which is put his way.

“He’s probably being a bit too gracious with

that. I always think the players’ parents have a

bigger influence. They’re the ones who wash

the kit and bring it to training when he’s a young

lad. Shane was so receptive to information, so

willing to learn, it was never a chore to work

with Shane Daly that’s for sure. Really super

personality in the changing room and a great

guy to work with. For him to have said that, it

wouldn’t be lost on you in fairness.”

And how does he think Daly will adapt to the

demands of senior international rugby?

“I was fortunate in my time with Leinster

Schools, Munster Schools and Irish Schools

over the years to have coached a lot of his

teammates. I think Shane is well able, 100% in

that company.

“No doubt.”

MUNSTER v HARLEQUINS | 13.12.20 | THOMOND PARK

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VIRTUAL MUNSTER MASCOTS

JAMES MAGUIRE

Age: 9

From: Blackrock, Cork

School: Crab Lane National School

Hobbies: Rugby, soccer, GAA

Favourite Player: Peter O’Mahony

SAM LEHANE

Age: 9

From: Nohoval, Co. Cork

School: Rennies National School

Hobbies: Playing rugby with Kinsale RFC,

GAA, athletics

Favourite Player: Andrew Conway

MUNSTER v HARLEQUINS | 13.12.20 | THOMOND PARK

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STEPHEN ARCHER

Prop

29.01.88

H: 1.88m

W: 120.91kg

Hons: Ire (2 caps)

Hooker

06.08.99

H:1.83m

W: 98kg

Hons: Ire U20

DIARMUID BARRON

TADHG BEIRNE

Lock / Back Row

08.01.92

H: 1.98 m

W: 113.18 kg

Hons: Ire (17 caps)

Flanker

15.02.91

H: 1.76 m

W: 98 kg

Hons: ~

CHRIS CLOETE

Back Row

11.12.1997

H: 1.98m

W: 110kg

Hons: Ire U20

GAVIN COOMBES

JAMES CRONIN

Prop

23.11.90

H: 1.80 m

W: 113 kg

Hons: Ire (3 caps)

Lock / Back Row

03.08.85

H: 1.91 m

W: 111 kg

Hons: Ire (1 cap)

BILLY HOLLAND

DAVE KILCOYNE

Prop

14.12.88

H: 1.83 m

W: 112 kg

Hons: Ire (39 caps)

JEAN KLEYN

Lock

26.08.93

H: 2.03 m

W: 125 kg

Hons: Ire (5 caps)

Prop

06.04.99

H: 1.85m

W: 115kg

Hons: ~

KEYNAN KNOX

Prop

22.07.95

H: 1.85 m

W: 120 kg

Hons: Ire U20

JEREMY LOUGHMAN

Hooker

12.10.92

H: 1.84 m

W: 108 kg

Hons: NZ U20

RHYS MARSHALL

Hooker

16.04.91

H: 1.80 m

W: 107 kg

Hons: Ire U19

KEVIN O’BYRNE

Prop

13.07.95

H: 1.78 m

W: 110 kg

Hons: Ire U20

LIAM O’CONNOR

TOMMY O’DONNELL

Back Row

21.05.87

H: 1.85 m

W: 107 kg

Hons: Ire (12 caps)

JACK O’DONOGHUE

Back Row

08.02.94

H: 1.91 m

W: 107 kg

Hons: Ire (2 caps)

PETER O’MAHONY

Back Row

17.09.89

H: 1.91 m

W: 106 kg

Hons: Ire (73 caps)

Back Row

01.10.98

H: 1.88m

W: 100kg

Hons: Ire U20

JACK O’SULLIVAN

JOHN RYAN

Prop

02.08.88

H: 1.83 m

W: 117 kg

Hons: Ire (23 caps)

Prop

28.10.97

H:1.83m

W: 123.18kg

Hons: USA U20

ROMAN SALANOA

NIALL SCANNELL

Hooker

08.04.92

H: 1.85 m

W: 109 kg

Hons: Ire (20 caps)

RG SNYMAN

Lock

29.01.95

H: 2.06 m

W: 116 kg

Hons: SA (23 caps)

CJ STANDER

Back Row

05.04.90

H: 1.85 m

W: 114 kg

Hons: Ire (46 caps)

Lock

11.12.97

H:1.93 m

W: 111.82 kg

Hons: Ire U20

FINEEN WYCHERLEY

FORWARDS

Munster Rugby Squad - 2020/21 Season

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JOEY CARBERY

Fly Half

01.11.95

H: 1.83 m

W: 85kg

Hons: Ire (22 caps)

Scrum Half

19.04.99

H: 1.65 m

W: 75kg

Hons: Ire U20

CRAIG CASEY

ANDREW CONWAY

Full Back / Wing

11.07.91

H: 1.80 m

W: 89 kg

Hons: Ire (24 caps)

LIAM COOMBES

Full Back / Wing

01.05.97

H: 1.91m

W: 89 kg

Hons: Ire U20

Scrum Half

08.12.92

H: 1.73 m

W: 83 kg

Hons: Ire Clubs

NEIL CRONIN

Wing / Centre

19.12.96

H: 1.91 m

W: 91 kg

Hons: Ire (1 cap)

SHANE DALY

DAMIAN DE ALLENDE

Centre

25/11/1991

H: 1.91 m

W: 105 kg

Hons: SA (47 caps)

KEITH EARLS

Universal Back

02.10.87

H: 1.78 m

W: 90 kg

Hons: Ire (88 caps)

CHRIS FARRELL

Centre

16.03.93

H: 1.93 m

W: 110 kg

Hons: Ire (14 caps)

Full Back

26.10.96

H:1.85m

W: 95 kg

Hons: Eng U20

MATT GALLAGHER

Centre

10.12.94

H: 1.85 m

W: 100 kg

Hons: Ire U20

DAN GOGGIN

Full Back

28.06.94

H: 1.91 m

W: 93 kg

Hons: Ire (1 cap)

MIKE HALEY

RORY SCANNELL

CALVIN NASH

CONOR MURRAY

ALEX MCHENRY

NICK MCCARTHY

JJ HANRAHAN

Fly Half / Centre

27.07.92

H: 1.83 m

W: 93 kg

Hons: Emerging Ireland

Scrum Half

25.03.95

H: 1.8m

W: 84 kg

Hons: Ire U20

Centre

07.10.97

H: 1.88m

W: 95kg

Hons: Ire U20

Scrum Half

20.04.89

H: 1.88 m

W: 94 kg

Hons: Ire (87 caps)

Wing

08.08.97

H: 1.78 m

W: 90 kg

Hons: Ire U20

Centre

22.12.93

H: 1.80 m

W: 98 kg

Hons: Ire (3 caps)

Wing

05.05.93

H: 1.85 m

W: 95 kg

Hons: Ire (3 caps)

DARREN SWEETNAM

BACKS

MUNSTER v HARLEQUINS | 13.12.20 | THOMOND PARK

23


MUNSTER RUGBY

STARTING XV

James Cronin Kevin O'Byrne Stephen Archer Jean Kleyn Tadhg Beirne

Gavin Coombes

Peter

O'Mahony (C)

CJ Stander

Conor Murray

JJ Hanrahan

Keith Earls

Damian de

Allende

Chris Farrell

Andrew Conway

Mike Haley

#MUNvHAR

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Replacements

16. Rhys Marshall 17. Josh Wycherley

18. John Ryan 19. Fineen Wycherley

20. Jack O'Donoghue 21. Craig Casey

22. Ben Healy 23. Rory Scannell

24 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


HARLEQUINS

STARTING XV

Joe Marler

Scott Baldwin

Wilco Louw

Hugh Tizard

Glen Young

James

Chisholm

Will Evans

Alex

Dombrandt (C)

Danny Care

Marcus Smith

Cadan Murley

Ben Tapuai

Luke

Northmore

Nathan Earle

Mike Brown

Replacements

16. Elia Elia 17. Santiago Garcia Botta

18. Fin Baxter 19. Richard De Carpentier

20. Tom Lawday 21. Scott Steele

22. James Lang 23. Ross Chisholm

MATCH OFFICIALS

Referee: Pascal Gauzere (FRA)

AR1: Sean Gallagher (IRE)

AR2: Paul Haycock (IRE)

TMO: Brian MacNeice (IRE)

MUNSTER v HARLEQUINS | 13.12.20 | THOMOND PARK

25


BEST TRY

The best tries, place kicks and drop goals from

25 years of the Heineken Champions Cup are

being voted for in the exciting new Tissot 10s

series – and you can have your say in the winner

on official digital channels of the tournament.

Takudzwa Ngwenya’s stunning try for Biarritz

Olympique in their 2009/10 quarter-final win

over Ospreys landed the accolade of the top try

from an outstanding shortlist as EPCR team up

with Official Partner Tissot to bring you some

top class action from a quarter of a century of

elite club rugby.

The shortlist is revealed with a series of video

vignettes on HeinekenChampionsCup.com and

official social media channels before a public

vote for the fans, which is combined with the

views of an expert to determine the winner.

European Cup winner Bryan Habana was on

hand as Ngwenya’s try was selected and the

countdown of the best place kicks has already

started.

Fans who have their say on their favourite

selection enter a draw to win a Tissot watch as

part of this exciting activation.

2010

TAKUDZWA NGWENYA

BIARRITZ OLYMPIQUE V OSPREYS

26 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


ASHTON’S

THOMOND PARK

EXPERIENCE

Photo: Steve Bardens/Getty Images

Europe’s top try scorer Chris Ashton is no

stranger to Thomond Park, and although not

in the line-up today, has plenty of experience

playing at the coalface of this competition,

having won consecutive Heineken Champions

Cup titles with Saracens in 2016 and 2017. He

joined Harlequins earlier this year from Sale

Sharks and has made 7 appearances for the

side. The 33-year-old rugby league convert

played 44 times for England, scoring 20 tries.

He leads the way as the top try scorer in Europe

with 40 tries to date.

"On facing Munster today in Thomond Park...

Munster have started really well in the league

and Thomond Park, whether full or empty, is

always going to be a very difficult place to go

and get a win.

“I remember Quins did it a few years ago. They

went and got the win which was unusual, but

there are some players here that have been

there and done it. I’ve, unfortunately, not been

able to go and do it. So, it is a hard place to go

and get a win, and, like I’ve said, the Champions

Cup means an awful lot to Munster. So, we’ll be

expecting both barrels come that game.”

On the switch from playing Premiership Rugby

to the Champions Cup…

“Yes, the Champions Cup is just a good

breakaway from the league, and the different

pressures that it brings. It’s kind of a place where

you can go and play the best teams, and play

with a different outlook on the kind of game you

want to play. You can afford to play with a little

bit more style and freedom.

“You can chance your arm a little bit more and

try to win games, maybe differently to how you

would in a Premiership game. So, it definitely

offers that, and that makes it exciting in itself for

the players and wanting to play in it.”

On his memories of playing in this competition...

“One of my first memories, funnily enough,

would be against Munster. Having come from

Rugby League, always playing against your local

team, really, to be able to leave Northampton

and go across to Thomond Park, and just

experiencing Thomond Park when Munster were

at the top and with a full crowd, it was something

I’d never experienced before.

“Just the passion, just the whole atmosphere of

the tournament was something I hadn’t expected

and didn’t have an idea about. So, to be able to

start it off in such an amazing place, and just get

a feel for it that way, you could tell there was a

dramatic difference from the Champions Cup to

your normal Premiership games.

“It’s something you want to get excited about,

and you want to prove yourself in front of

different teams all across Europe, and the only

platform to do that is through the Champions

Cup.”

MUNSTER v HARLEQUINS | 13.12.20 | THOMOND PARK

27


For the fifth consecutive season, the Champions

Try of the Round competition will bring fans and

leading broadcasters together to decide the best

score of each weekend of matches in the Heineken

Champions Cup, giving supporters the chance to

also win some top-class rugby prizes.

Racing 92 dotted down for some outstanding tries

in 2019/20, with Teddy Thomas twice lauded for

different scores against Munster Rugby in the pool

stage before Juan Imhoff’s sensational, matchwinning

try in the Paris semi-final against Saracens

plucked the Try of the Season award having earned

praise from Channel 4’s Nolli Waterman, Virgin

Media’s Alan Quinlan and the fans.

Imhoff’s success followed Nick Abendanon

(2016/17), Tadhg Beirne (2017/18) and Maxime

Médard (2018/19) to the annual accolade after

impressive growth of engagement with the public

vote through HeinekenChampionsCup.com. On the

Monday after each round of matches in European

club rugby’s blue riband tournament, a shortlist of

five tries is compiled by EPCR’s editorial team and

opened to the public in the vote.

Enjoy some high-calibre rugby and HAVE YOUR SAY

in the winner!

CHAMPIONS TRY OF THE ROUND WINNERS 2019/20

Round 1: James Lang

ASM Clermont Auvergne v Harlequins

Round 2: Teddy Thomas

Munster Rugby v Racing 92

Round 3: James Lowe

Northampton Saints v Leinster Rugby

Round 4: Lewis Ludlow

Connacht Rugby v Gloucester Rugby

Round 5: Teddy Thomas

Racing 92 v Munster Rugby

Round 6: Luke Northmore

Harlequins v ASM Clermont Auvergne

Quarter-Final: Alex Goode

Leinster Rugby v Saracens

Semi-Final / Champions Try of the Season:

Juan Imhoff

Racing 92 v Saracens

EPCRUGBY.COM/TOTR

28 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


IN STATS – SEASON SO FAR

Munster have made the perfect start to the

PRO14 season as seven wins on the spin have

seen the province open up a healthy lead at the

top of Conference B.

43 players have played their part with seven

members of the Greencore Munster Rugby

Academy involved so far this year.

Johann van Graan’s side have scored an

average of 34 points per game, conceding an

average of 19 points per game.

Munster have scored 29 tries in seven games,

an average of just over four per match.

Conference rivals Scarlets, Edinburgh and

Cardiff Blues have all been beaten along with

Glasgow Warriors, Ospreys, Dragons and Zebre

Take a look at some of the key stats, facts and

figures following our impressive starts below.

Minutes Played #

Jack O’Donoghue 7 games – 463 minutes

Damian de Allende 6 games – 426 minutes

Craig Casey

7 games – 423 minutes

Rory Scannell

6 games – 417 minutes

Defenders Beaten #

Damian de Allende

Mike Haley 13

Craig Casey 12

Clean Breaks #

Damian de Allende 6

Matt Gallagher & Dan Goggin 5

Calvin Nash 4

Most Tackles #

Jack O'Donoghue 47

Gavin Coombes 44

Billy Holland 41

Turnovers Won #

James Cronin 4

Gavin Coombes 4

16 (2nd most across the PRO14)

Debuts

Senior players: Matt Gallagher & Roman Salanoa

Academy players: Thomas Ahern, Jack Daly,

Seán French and Josh Wycherley

Milestones

JJ Hanrahan - 100th Guinness PRO14 appearance

v Glasgow Warriors in November

Metres Gained #

Mike Haley 232

Matt Gallagher 206

Gavin Coombes 190

Carries

Gavin Coombes leads the way with 71 carries in

seven games, the third highest across the PRO14

Player of the Match Awards #

Craig Casey 2

Gavin Coombes 2

JJ Hanrahan 1

Jack O’Donoghue 1

Leading Scorers #

Ben Healy

57 points

JJ Hanrahan

42 points

Gavin Coombes

6 tries

Kevin O’Byrne

3 tries

Passes

Craig Casey has made the most passes of any

Munster player with 324 in his 423 minutes

on the pitch

MUNSTER v HARLEQUINS | 13.12.20 | THOMOND PARK

29


Get closer

Get your hands on the best analysis, match reports,

interviews and features from the game’s leading writers.

Subscribe at thetimes.ie/join

30 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


Muskerry RFC

#MunsterStartsHere

RUGBY DEVELOPMENT NEWS

MUSKERRY RFC PLAYERS HELP ST.

VINCENT DE PAUL

Although rugby may be on hold for the moment

that does not mean the players from Muskerry

RFC have not been busy. On recent Friday

evenings, players from the club’s Junior 1

and Junior 2 squads have given up their time

to help the St. Vincent de Paul charity. The

masked and socially distanced squads, led by

club captain Joe Tracey, have donated the time

they would have spent training this month to

pack Christmas food hampers for families in

need. They even chose to skip watching the

recent Ireland v Wales game to keep up the

momentum. Kate Durrant from the St. Vincent

de Paul said, “We could not do it without help

from voluntary groups like Muskerry RFC.”

minis and youth players. With COVID-19 Health

& Safety Plans in place, clubs and schools can

work within government guidelines to continue

as a hub for physical and mental well-being for

school-aged children. Non-contact sessions can

be run within a pod of 15 including coaches and

COVID-19 Club Compliance officers. The last

number of weeks saw our staff working closely

with clubs and schools among them including

Ursuline Secondary School in Thurles, Nenagh

Ormond RFC, St. Munchin’s College in Limerick,

Villiers School in Limerick, Mallow RFC, Thurles

RFC, Richmond RFC, Glenstal Abbey School,

Bandon Grammar, Ballina Killaloe RFC, Midleton

RFC, Mallow Convent National School, St.

Finbarr’s National School in Bantry, Carrigaline

RUGBY DEVELOPMENT WORK

CONTINUES

Munster Rugby Development Staff were busy

throughout last month as they continued to

work with clubs and schools by hosting noncontact

development games and activities for

St. Munchins Junior Cup players

MUNSTER v HARLEQUINS | 13.12.20 | THOMOND PARK

31


YOUR ACCESS TO THE HEART

OF EUROPEAN RUGBY HAS

NEVER BEEN BETTER

HEINEKENCHAMPIONSCUP.COM

#HEINEKENCHAMPIONSCUP

32 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


Nenagh Ormond U12s in a recent session

#MunsterStartsHere

RFC, Carrick-On-Suir RFC, Killarney RFC, Old

Christians RFC, Tralee RFC, Kilfeacle & District

RFC, Thomond RFC, Shannon RFC, Garryowen

FC, St. Marys RFC, Young Munster RFC and

Mungret Community College.

Jonny Holland on the importance of nutrition,

Munster Academy lead physiotherapist Shane

Malone on injury prevention and rehabilitation,

Munster Academy S&C coach Cian Gormley

on fitness and conditioning, Behavioural

Psychologist and Performance Coach Sana

Govender presenting on mental health and

well-being.

CLUBS TO RECEIVE EMERGENCY

FUNDING

ONLINE COACHING & WELL-BEING

WEBINARS

Our Women’s Rugby Coaching Webinar series

began on Wednesday, November 25th which

focussed on ‘Functional Movement for Rugby

and was aimed at minis and age-grade coaches

in the women’s game. The second webinar took

place on Wednesday, December 9th last and

was aimed at ‘Building the Scrum’.

Munster Rugby also held two health and wellbeing

webinars last month in collaboration with

Clare Local Sports Partnership (LSP) and Kilrush

RFC. Speakers included former Munster out-half

The IRFU has allocated €4 million of the €18

million emergency funding it received from

Government to help clubs towards the losses

they suffered due to COVID-19’s impact on club

rugby activity in 2020. The funding is drawn

from the Sport Ireland COVID-19 Emergency

Fund for Sport provided to the IRFU to address

the existential threat to Irish Rugby across its

clubs, provinces and national teams. Club

funding is directly linked to verifiable losses

submitted by clubs, to the IRFU in a scheme

administered by the IRFU as part of the

application process overseen by Sport Ireland.

All 166 eligible clubs were invited to apply for

funding. The objective of the process was to

be accessible, rigorous, equitable and provide

urgent financial assistance to clubs facing the

prospect of insolvency or closure in 2020.

MUNSTER v HARLEQUINS | 13.12.20 | THOMOND PARK

33


STAND UP

AND FIGHT

34 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


marksandspencer.ie/christmasfood

Collection free-range Irish Bronze turkeys

Proud sponsor of the Munster

Community Rugby Programme

The Big Hitters in

Data Intelligence

tqsintegration.com

MUNSTER v HARLEQUINS | 13.12.20 | THOMOND PARK

35


CLONAKILTY

RFC

“PUTTING INCLUSIVITY AT

THE HEART OF WHAT WE DO”

“We wanted to put inclusivity at the heart of

what we do.” These are the words of Clonakilty

RFC Director of Rugby Neville Burton as he

begins to explain the excellent work which the

West Cork club are doing in reaching out to

marginalised groups in the area.

On this particular wet and blustery Saturday

morning, there is a steady stream of parents

dropping off their children for the day’s first

of two minis training sessions. The minis

programme in the club has proved so popular

that they have had to split the morning into

two sessions to accommodate the 330 children

who are involved. Despite many of the club’s

facilities, including the popular coffee shop,

remaining closed due to the current government

restrictions, the grounds of the club are a hive

of activity and excitement is in the air as the

children prepare to get their hands on a ball,

albeit a slippery one.

Of this excited and giddy group are nine

enthusiastic children from the Clonakilty Lodge

Direct Provision Centre: Francesco, Joseph,

Jamal, Wayne, Cyril, Keith, Lulu, Rihanna

and Mimi. Many of these children are new to

the sport and their participation is the result

of a growing relationship between the club’s

Community Engagement Officers and Service

Coordinator for Clonakilty Friends of Asylum

Seekers, Kitty Sisson.

“We’ve been getting it off the ground for the

last three weeks and they’ve been here, and

they’ve been enjoying themselves. It’s been

building on an existing relationship that’s been

happening on an ad-hoc basis for the last few

years. Over the last few months, in particular

this year with COVID, has really shown the

spotlight on Direct Provision and children are

living in one room. In family groups, they’ve got

35 bedrooms, they’ve got nearly 100 residents

and some of the kids here have siblings, two

or three siblings, and it’s a great opportunity to

get out and integrate with their peers in a very

natural way, get the exercise in, really. It’s really

important.”

Community Engagement Officer Courtney

Canning who alongside Sinead Burton is

spearheading this initiative says that from a

social and youth development perspective,

getting these nine children involved on a weekly

basis is hugely beneficial.

“I suppose sport and, in this case, rugby, is

incredibly conducive to creating an atmosphere

that promotes positive youth development,”

Canning says.

“So, the kids that are coming now, socially it’s

amazing for them. They’re making friends and I

suppose most importantly they’re having fun.

Every young kid deserves the right to play with

36 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


their local team. At a local level, we feel that

it’s very important to do everything we can to

make sure that right is provided for and make

it as accessible as possible. That’s the joy of

volunteerism, seeing smiles on kids’ faces is

what it’s all about.”

Reaching out to Clonakilty Friends of Asylum

Seekers is just one initiative of an overarching

plan for Clonakilty RFC to be a truly inclusive

club. A decision was made a number of years

ago to apply this mantra to both on and off

the pitch matters, as Director of Rugby Neville

Burton explains.

this success has been years in the making. With

the club’s mini section thriving, Canning hopes

that this initiative is a stepping stone to other

projects including reaching out to the LGBT and

Traveller communities in Clonakilty.

“We’re not going to stand here and take credit

for what we haven’t done yet. This is such a new

initiative and the first thing we have done is to

reach out to the Friends of Asylum Seekers. It

has been really, really positive. We have other

plans, we certainly plan on working with the

LGBT community here. Our plan is to run a

Pride Week here in the club which will involve

all young underage members and the adult

rugby team wearing the pride colour socks for

games that they’re playing, hopefully, if they go

ahead.

Neville Burton

“I suppose it has been a strategy that a number

of us have been working on for many years now

where we wanted to put inclusivity at the heart

of what we do,” Neville says.

“We also plan on working with the Traveller

community and we also really want to focus

on mental health because it’s such a big issue

now. We’re trying to create workshops that will

help the coaches improve the soft skills of the

kids intertwined in their training sessions. So,

improving their confidence, their empathy, their

trust, their leadership. So as well as making

young kids here better rugby players, we really

want to make them better all-round individuals.”

“That obviously extends to the pitch where

we’ve got equal playing time for all players. No A

or B teams all the way to U16, a fully functioning

girls section. But we also felt that inclusivity

needed to be something that extended beyond

the pitch and beyond rugby. We wanted to

make sure that as part of our strategy that

everybody in Clonakilty is welcome at the club

and can be part of our club. So we decided to

appoint two community engagement officers.

Courtney Canning and Sinead Burton were

a super fit because they are both passionate

about community engagement.”

The success of the club’s mini section was

recently recognised by winning the Munster

Rugby Club Mini Section of the Year award and

underage chairperson Helen O’Hea says that

Lulu and Mimi in action at Clonakilty RFC

As the sun makes a much welcome appearance

as the first of two minis training sessions begins

to wind down, the children make their way from

the pitches with muddy knees and beaming

smiles.

This is what it’s all about.

MUNSTER v HARLEQUINS | 13.12.20 | THOMOND PARK

37


OFFICIAL TIMEKEEPER

TISSOT supersport

chrono.

TISSOTWATCHES.COM

38 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


IRFU GUIDELINES: LEVEL 3

MUNSTER v HARLEQUINS | 13.12.20 | THOMOND PARK

39


40 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


Ready for

Munster

Munster businesses need the best

support they can get right now.

We have in-store experts like

Steven in our Cork store, who

knows everything from Gigabit

Broadband to tailored business

plans, to help get your business

ready for the future.

Contact your local

Business Advisor today.

MUNSTER v HARLEQUINS | 13.12.20 | THOMOND PARK

41


2016 2017 2018

Rugby’s family values have never been more literally

emphasised than at Bristol’s Ashton Gate Stadium back in

October. Joe Simmonds was already the Heineken Star of the

Match before the penalty that took Exeter Chiefs to their first

European crown against Racing 92 in the final and, soon after,

brother Sam was presented with the Anthony Foley Memorial

Trophy as EPCR European Player of the Year.

The number eight was the tournament’s top try scorer

during the season, crossing eight times to become the fourth

Englishman in five seasons to win the prestigious accolade.

Simmonds was selected by a combination of an expert panel

deliberating right until the end of the Heineken Champions

Cup final and more than 20,000 votes cast through

HeinekenChampionsCup.com.

This season, stars of the global game will have more intense

periods to prove they are Europe’s standout player with the

pool stage of the Heineken Champions Cup played over four

rounds in December and January on an exceptional basis,

with an expanded knockout stage leading a path to Marseille

for Finals Weekend on 21-22 May 2021, before which a list of

nominees will have been streamlined to five candidates.

By taking part in the public vote through official channels of

the tournaments, fans can be in with a chance of winning

outstanding rugby prizes.

2019

2020

EPCR European

Player of the Year

Past Winners

1995-2010 Ronan O’Gara

2011 Sean O’Brien

2012 Rob Kearney

2013 Jonny Wilkinson

2014 Steffon Armitage

2015 Nick Abendanon

2016 Maro Itoje

2017 Owen Farrell

2018 Leone Nakarawa

2019 Alex Goode

2020 Sam Simmonds

E ALLENDE

42 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


AMIAN

E ALLENDE

Position: Centre

DOB: 25 Nov 1991 (age 29)

From: Cape Town, South Africa

Height: 1.91m/6’ 3”

Weight: 105kg/16st 6 lbs

Honours: South Africa (47 caps), RWC winner, Barbarians

Munster appearances: 9

CURRENT SEASON STATS

Tries: 1

Metres gained: 175

Carries: 39

Try assists: 2

Clean breaks: 6

Offloads: 3

Defenders beaten: 16

Tackles: 23

“There’s a lot

of pride and

passion; I

can just feel

it in their voice

and the way

they speak about

the Heineken Champions

Cup, and the feelings

they get when they speak

about what Munster

have achieved in the

past, and they just

want to get that

right and achieve

what those other

guys have. I

think that’s

something

that not

just the old

guys want

to achieve

it – it’s the

youngsters

that also want

to achieve

it with

Munster.”

MUNSTER v HARLEQUINS | 13.12.20 | THOMOND PARK

43


44 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


FIXTURES & RESULTS 2020/21

Date Fixture Where to watch

Sat 3 Oct Scarlets 27-30 Munster Parc y Scarlets

Sat 10 Oct Munster 25-23 Edinburgh Rugby Thomond Park

Mon 26 Oct Munster 38 - 27 Cardiff Blues eir Sport, TG4, Premier Sports

Sun 1 Nov Dragons 16 - 28 Munster eir Sport, Premier Sports

Sat 7 Nov Benetton Rugby v Munster Match Postponed

Sun 15 Nov Munster 38-22 Ospreys eir Sport, S4C, Premier Sports

Mon 23 Nov Glasgow Warriors 13-27 Munster Premier Sports, eir Sport

Mon 30 Nov Munster 52-3 Zebre Rugby Club eir Sport, Premier Sports

Sun 13 Dec | 5.30pm Munster v Harlequins BT Sport, beIN Sports

Sat 19 Dec | 6.30pm Clermont Auvergne v Munster beIN Sports, BT Sport

Sat 26 Dec | 7.35pm Munster v Leinster eir Sport, Premier Sports

Sat 02 Jan | 5.15pm Ulster v Munster eir Sport, Premier Sports

Sat 09 Jan | 7.35pm Connacht v Munster eir Sport, TG4, Premier Sports

Sat 16 Jan | 5.30pm Munster v Clermont Auvergne BT Sport, beIN Sports

Sat 23 Jan | 5.30pm Harlequins v Munster BT Sport, beIN Sports

Gilbert x Munster Programme Advert_165x12mm_5mm Bleed.pdf 1 06/10/2020 10:07

MUNSTER v HARLEQUINS | 13.12.20 | THOMOND PARK

45


C

M

Y

CM

MY

CY

CMY

K

46 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


MUNSTER v HARLEQUINS | 13.12.20 | THOMOND PARK

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Great gifts

don’t need

wrapping.

MUNSTER v HARLEQUINS | 13.12.20 | THOMOND PARK

48

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