Munster Rugby v Connacht Rugby Match Programme

MunsterRugbyMatchProgrammes

Guinness PRO14 Round 14 | Find out all you need to know ahead of Munster v Connacht.

Read what Head Coach Johann van Graan and Billy Holland had to say in the build up to the game.

We catch up on the latest team news and hear from Ireland Women's player Laura Sheehan on her development and rise from her Beara peninsula roots.

Following her recent passing we remember Cara O'Sullivan and her fantastic contribution to Munster Rugby over the years.

v CONNACHT | FRI 5 MAR 2021 | THOMOND PARK | 7.35PM

MUNSTER v CONNACHT | 05.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

1


Loved in Munster.

Followed the world over.

Always represented.

2 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE

© 2020 adidas AG


PRESIDENT’S WELCOME

Our Munster A side played Ulster A in Dublin

last Saturday with Munster winning on a 29-22

score line. This game was welcome as it was

a chance for some of our Senior, Academy

and National Talent Squad players to get some

valuable game time.

This evening we welcome Head Coach Andy

Friend and his Connacht squad for Round 14

of the Guinness PRO14. A special mention

and virtual welcome to Connacht Branch

President Ann Heneghan who has created

a bit of history by becoming the first woman

to hold a Presidential role at provincial level.

Congratulations to Ann from all in Munster

Rugby on your achievement. Hopefully we will

get to meet in person in the not-too-distant

future.

Connacht come into this game after overcoming

Benetton last weekend in what was a hardfought

away win. Munster also recorded a win

away to Cardiff Blues, which sets this evening’s

game up to be one of vital importance for

both sides. The Irish provinces hold the top

four spots in the league, and depending on

this weekend’s results, we may know who will

compete in the final on March 27, given that

there are only two games left to be played.

This should bring an added edge to the already

highly competitive interpro games.

The Six Nations campaign did not start

according to plan, with Andy Farrell’s men

losing the first two games but thankfully picking

up a most welcome win in Rome last weekend.

Congratulations to all our players involved in

the Irish squad, and a special mention to Craig

Casey in getting his first Irish cap - a proud day

indeed for Craig and all his family.

On the domestic front, the fantastic work being

done by everybody continues with Move with

Munster, Training Session Plans, and everything

else that the staff and numerous committees

are doing to keep all our players engaged and

rugby focused. Better times are on the horizon

and we look forward to the day when we can

train, play a game and go as a spectator once

again.

Our thanks to our main sponsor Bank of Ireland,

our kit supplier adidas and all our sponsors for

their continued support.

Stay safe, stay strong and stay positive.

To the brave and faithful, nothing is impossible.

Seán McCullough

President Munster Branch IRFU

To Johann, his coaching team, and the entire

squad our best wishes for tonight’s game.

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 CONNACHT | 05.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

3


FOLLOW ALL THE ACTION ON

PRO14.RUGBY

YOUR GUINNESS

PRO14 HOME

LATEST NEWS, LIVE MATCH

CENTRES, STATS & MORE

VISIT NOW

WWW.PRO14.RUGBY

4 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


GUINNESS PRO14 CAMPAIGN TO CONCLUDE IN

MARCH AHEAD OF NEW “RAINBOW CUP” WITH

SOUTH AFRICA’S TOP FOUR ‘SUPER’ TEAMS

The current Guinness PRO14 campaign will

end in March allowing South Africa’s four

‘Super’ teams and our existing clubs to

finish the season with a 16-team “Rainbow

Cup” competition ahead of the British &

Irish Lions tour.

After consulting with key PRO14 stakeholders, the Guinness

PRO14 Rainbow Cup was chosen as the best pathway to

finish up the current campaign and introduce South Africa’s

four ‘Super’ teams: the Vodacom Bulls; Emirates Lions; Cell

C Sharks and DHL Stormers. This decision also allows our

European-based sides to earn qualification for European

Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) tournaments in 2021/22 in

a fair and equitable manner.

Ahead of the 2021 British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa,

the Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup will provide a groundbreaking

spectacle for fans who will see international star

players from north and south establish new rivalries in their

bid for the ultimate Test selection.

Right through until the last kick of the ball in the Rainbow

Cup in June, fans will be able to watch it all unfold with our

broadcast partners Premier Sports, eir Sport, S4C, TG4,

DAZN and Super Sport.

How it will Work

• The 2020/21 Guinness PRO14 campaign will finish after 16

rounds with the Conference winners facing each other in a

final in late March

• Qualification for EPCR tournaments in 2021/22 will be

decided by rankings after Round 16

• On April 17, 2021, the Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup will

kick-off and introduce the Vodacom Bulls, Emirates Lions,

Cell C Sharks and DHL Stormers and their World Cupwinning

Springboks

• The Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup will consist of a pool

stage (two pools of eight teams) and a final between the

two pool winners

FINAL CHAPTER OF GUINNESS PRO14

fixture list will aim to ensure home and away in-conference

fixtures are completed and each team plays all of its

cross-conference matches also. Further clarification will be

available when fixtures are confirmed.

The scheduled dates for the conclusion of the 2020-21

Guinness PRO14 campaign are:

R12: February 20

R13: February 27

R14: March 6

R15: March 13

R16: March 20

Final: March 27

Once Round 16 has been completed, the top-ranked teams

from each conference will qualify for the 2021/22 Heineken

Champions Cup. Requirement for play-offs is under review.

GUINNESS PRO14 “RAINBOW CUP”

FORGING NEW RIVALRIES

With South Africa preparing to host their first British & Irish

Lions tour since 2009, the World Cup champions will see

their ‘Super’ teams – the Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers

take on the very best that Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales

have to offer.

Players aiming to make the British & Irish Lions squad will

find no better trial environment to test themselves in, as

they go up against the likes of Siya Kolisi, Pieter Steph du

Toit (both DHL Stormers), Duane Vermeulen (Vodacom

Bulls), Elton Jantjies (Emirates Lions) and former Guinness

PRO14 top-try scorer Makazole Mapimipi (Cell C Sharks).

The Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup will kick off on April 17

with two pools of 8 teams made up of two Irish, two South

African, two Welsh, one Italian and one Scottish club. Each

team will play one game against each pool opponent and

the sides that finish top of their pools will face off in a final

on June 19.

Across 57 matches, the Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup will

feature the best of the Springbok talent going toe-to-toe

with some of the British & Irish Lions’ biggest names – every

one of them keen to lay down a marker to their respective

selectors ahead of what will prove to an historic tour.

Rounds 12 to 16 will take place from February 20 and

conclude on March 20. A final will then take place at the

home venue of the highest-ranked team. This abbreviated

MUNSTER v CONNACHT | 05.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

5


6 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


MUNSTER v CONNACHT

ROUND 14 PREVIEW

A mouth-watering weekend gets under way

tonight when Conference B leaders Munster

host Connacht, who have the chance to cut the

nine-point gap at the top.

Chris Farrell is tackled by

Tom Daly and Finlay Bealham

Connacht go into this crucial Conference B

showdown on the back of three straight victories,

with Bundee Aki’s late try against Benetton last

weekend snatching victory from the home side.

Munster have also won three in a row since

losing 13-10 at home to Leinster in January and

have recent history on their side having won the

last six meetings with Connacht.

Munster were 20-11 winners at Cardiff last

weekend when Billy Holland came off the bench

to become Munster’s second most-capped

player of all time.

CONFERENCE B TABLE

POS TEAM PL W D L BP PTS

1 Munster Rugby 13 11 0 2 6 50

2 Connacht Rugby 13 8 0 5 9 41

3 Scarlets 14 7 0 7 6 34

4 Cardiff Blues 14 6 0 8 2 26

5 Edinburgh Rugby 12 4 0 8 4 20

6 Benetton Rugby 12 0 0 12 6 6

HEAD TO HEAD 31 5 1

Munster wins

MATCH FACTS

Connacht wins

Draw

Munster have won the last three Guinness

PRO14 fixtures since their 10-13 reversal at

home to Leinster on 23 January. That defeat

was Munster’s first at home since Leinster

also beat them at Thomond Park in December

2019.

Connacht have won their last three Guinness

PRO14 fixtures since their 20-26 home defeat

to Ospreys in Round 8.

Connacht’s most recent away defeat in the

Championship was on a trip to Cardiff Blues

on 10 October.

Munster have won their last six fixtures against

Connacht since Connacht’s 20-16 victory in

Galway in October 2017 whilst Connacht’s

only win on Munster’s soil since 1986 was at

Thomond Park in November 2015.

MUNSTER v CONNACHT | 05.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

7


Moving Ahead

tra

Quality Fuel Technology

Inver

is available at all

Inver Service Stations.

Inver Xtra keeps your engine clean, improving

its performance, reducing carbon emissions!

Proud Sponsors of Junior Munster Rugby Supporters Club

www.inverenergy.ie

8 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


For your business or home energy needs

Call us on 0818 363 749

Visit www.pinergy.ie

Official Energy Partner of Munster Rugby

MUNSTER v CONNACHT | 05.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

9


THE INSIDE

TRACK

JOHANN VAN GRAAN

On where Munster are at this stage of the

season…

“We’ve had a lot of very close games and we

as a group see that as a big positive, that good

teams win close games. In terms of the last

few weeks, specifically we knew that we would

come up against a very desperate Edinburgh

side at home who were fighting for European

qualification. We’ve had some big battles with

them, and I thought we handled the conditions

and we handled them pretty well in terms of

the physical battle that they presented. Last

weekend we came up against Cardiff who

were kind of in the same boat with European

qualification. We scored that try in the second

half, and then the last ten minutes was a big

battle. We managed to work our way up the field

to score that fantastic maul try and conversion

at the end. So we are winning in a lot of different

ways against a lot of very good teams in a very

tightly contested pool. We will always take an

ugly win instead of a brilliant performance and

losing the game.”

On Billy Holland’s announcement that he will

retire at the end of the season…

“I’ll start with the person. This game that we

play is about people. He’s a phenomenal man

– I’ve said that before. Incredible family man,

husband and father, friend to a lot of people. A

real Munster man. I think ‘respect’ is one of the

words that pops up, integrity, work rate, and the

example that he sets for others. That’s what this

club is all about. Billy has never been the guy

who played 50 test matches, but he’s the guy

who has turned up every single week for this

club. We’ve got to give him that respect. He’ll

be sorely missed, but as Billy and I discussed,

this is not about goodbyes. This is just an

announcement. We have still got a big season

ahead of us. Still a long way to go in this season

for him. An incredible human being.”

On playing Connacht tonight…

“All credit to them, I think they’ve won their last

five games away from home and have played

some brilliant rugby. I think the game that stands

out for me is the away game against Racing 92,

where they came very close to beating them

in Paris. They’ve upped their physicality a lot,

they’ve got very good structure and they got a

very good coaching team and squad. We had

a pretty close game at the start of the year in

Galway and I’m sure this one will be the same.

We are fighting to get into a final and so are

they. We have three games left, whenever you

play someone in your own pool it’s a big swing.

There’s a lot to play for both teams.”

10 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


BILLY HOLLAND

On making the decision to retire at the end of

the season…

“I still get the same buzz every time I put on the

jersey. I still have the same sense of pride and

honour that I did when I did it for the first time

back in 2007. It’s the one thing that happens

to every professional rugby player – you have

to end at some stage and I’ve always wanted

to finish while I’m playing well. I’ve seen guys

in different clubs over the years perhaps stay

on a year too long. I’ve too much respect for

the jersey. Does that mean I feel I wouldn’t be

playing well in 12 months’ time? Not necessarily,

but you’ve got to make the decision at some

stage. Professional rugby puts huge demands

on you both physically and mentally. I’m 35, and

I want to spend as much time with my family as

possible, and it’s a big part of my life. There’s

great talent coming up through Munster, the big

man RG Snyman will be around a lot more next

season, so there’ll be less game time, naturally.

I’m very happy with my decision. Come to me

in October and I’ll probably be regretting it and

wishing I was out on the pitch but when the

lads are doing pre-season in August, I’ll be very

happy sitting at home.”

On what he will miss the most…

“What I’ll miss most is running out in Thomond

Park on a Saturday night for a European game.

That is the most incredible buzz. The adrenaline

rush you get from that is impossible to replicate.

I have some of my fondest memories playing

for Munster, beating teams you have no right to

beat, and playing against guys who are world

class, and you are beating them on a Saturday

night in Thomond Park in Europe. That is

something I will miss. I don’t see rugby as a job.

To have been paid for this for the last 14 years

- I’m incredible lucky to have been able to do

that. I’ll be able to spend more time with my

family, which is a big positive and something

that means a lot to me. But it’s never been a

job, it’s a sport I’ve always loved playing and

I’ll miss it.”

On how the game has changed since he started

as a professional…

“I was watching highlights of the Munster v All

Blacks game from 2008 recently, and I kind of

half expected my old man to pop up in it. It’s

absolutely mental. The ruck…it’s just carnage,

there are guys just flying everywhere. There are

about 10 red cards in the game if you look back

on it, by today’s standards. Today’s game is a lot

more structured. It changes year on year really.

The attack gets better, and the defence will start

getting the upper hand. There was a time when

it was all about bulk, but it’s gone back to guys

needing to be fitter and faster to exploit space.

In terms of training and preparation there is no

comparison. The analysis we do, the analysis of

training, the work the coaches do, the work we

do. It’s light years away from 14 years ago, but

everyone is doing it, so everyone goes along at

the same growth rate.”

"I still get the same buzz every time I put on the jersey."

MUNSTER v CONNACHT | 05.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

11


12 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


MUNSTER v CONNACHT | 05.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

13


Laya Healthcare are proud to be

Official Health and Wellbeing Partner

to Munster Rugby

14 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


NEWSROUND

Alex McHenry and Calvin Nash

Jack Crowley and Jake Flannery

Peter O'Mahony

PLAYERS COMMIT TO MUNSTER

Munster Rugby and the IRFU confirmed several

player contract extensions for the province

in recent week, all products of the provincial

pathway.

Brothers Niall and Rory Scannell, Jack

O’Donoghue, Craig Casey, Shane Daly and

Calvin Nash have all signed two-year extensions

while Liam Coombes and Alex McHenry have

put pen to paper on one-year deals.

On Thursday it was announced that Peter

O’Mahony has signed a two-year extension to

his IRFU contract keeping him at Munster until

2023.

Two of the group, Shane Daly and Craig Casey,

have both been capped for the first time for

Ireland this season – Daly against Georgia in

November and Casey against Italy last weekend.

MUNSTER A WIN IN DUBLIN

Tries from Cian Hurley, Jake Flannery, Jack

Crowley and Alex Kendellen helped Munster

A to a 29-22 victory over Ulster A in Dublin

last Saturday afternoon. Jack Crowley kicked

two conversions while Jake Flannery added a

conversion and penalty.

The reduced squad of 19 featured a mix of

senior, Academy and National Talent Squad

members including four players that travelled

to Cardiff on Friday for the province’s Guinness

PRO14 encounter.

Paddy Patterson, who was an unused

replacement in Munster’s win against the

Blues on Friday night, featured from the

bench in Donnybrook while travelling extras

Alex Kendellen, Diarmuid Barron and Josh

Wycherley were also involved with Kendellen

starting at 8.

Tomorrow, Munster A travel to the Sportsground

to play Connacht Eagles.

MUNSTER v CONNACHT | 05.03.21 | THOMOND PARK 15


EVERY FIXTURE

EVERY TRY

EVERY TACKLE

ALL IN

ONE APP

16 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


SHARP ALL SEASON

FORMAL WEAR PARTNERS TO MUNSTER RUGBY

PATRICK ST & CRESCENT SHOPPING CENTRE, LIMERICK • O’CONNELL ST, CLONMEL

CONNOLLYMAN.COM


18 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


INTERNATIONAL

ROUND UP

Ireland claimed their first win of the Six Nations

last weekend with a 48-10 win in Rome, in a

game that saw Munster’s Craig Casey come off

the bench for his first Irish cap after 63 minutes,

and provincial teammate Tadhg Beirne awarded

the Guinness Player of the Match in his 20th

appearance for Ireland.

CJ Stander scored Ireland’s bonus point try at

the start of the second half – his 12th try in 49

appearances while Keith Earls entered the fray

for the second half and scored Ireland’s last try

in the final minute of the game – his 33rd in the

green jersey. Dave Kilcoyne was also part of the

starting line-up and showed his superb form in

an impressive display.

Keith Earls reached the 90-cap milestone

against France on 14 February, while Stander

and Beirne were also named in the starting lineup

for that game.

Just two games remain in the tournament, with

Ireland facing Scotland on Sunday week. If

selected, CJ Stander looks set to win his 50th

Irish cap in that game. Stander leads the way

in the tournament for carries, with 47 carries

in three games. Tadhg Beirne as also won more

turnovers than any player in the tournament with 5.

In other Six Nations news, congratulations to

Joy Neville on becoming the first ever female

Television Match Official in the Guinness Six

Nations at the England v Scotland game on 6

February last.

It was also recently confirmed that the Women’s

Six Nations will start on the weekend of 3/4 April

and finishing on 24 April. This year’s tournament

will see a new and condensed format similar

to that of the recent Autumn Nations Cup,

culminating in a grand final weekend to crown

the Six Nations Champions 2021.

In the opening game against Wales, CJ Stander,

Keith Earls, Conor Murray, Peter O’Mahony and

Tadhg Beirne were all in the starting XV, with

Beirne also scoring Ireland's only try. Dave

Kilcoyne came off the bench to win his 40th

international cap.

Joy Neville

Craig Casey in action for

Ireland against Italy last

weekend

MUNSTER v CONNACHT | 05.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

19


DISCOVER THE

SPIRIT WITHIN.

“ THE INDOMINABLE SPIRIT OF OUR PEOPLE

IS THE VERY SOUL OF OUR WHISKY”

Product available to purchase at

WWW.LOCHLOMONDWHISKIES.COM

@lochlomondmalts @lochlomondwhiskies

THE SPIRIT OF PRO14 RUGBY

Enjoy Responsibly

20 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


THE LOWDOWN

THE COACHING TICKET

Connacht's Jarrad Butler celebrates with teammates

THE FORM GUIDE

Connacht claimed a dramatic win in Treviso last

Friday night with Irish international Bundee Aki

touching down in the last minute of the game to

snatch a 19-17 victory over the hosts. The win

set a club record for most away wins in a row

with five as they continue to chase Munster for

the top spot in Conference B.

While their European campaign saw them go

down to Bristol Bears at home and narrowly

defeated by Racing 92 in Paris, their Guinness

PRO14 season has been hugely positive, with

a highlight being Connacht’s convincing 24-

35 win over Leinster in the RDS at the start of

January. Tonight Connacht are looking for their

fourth win in a row with consecutive wins in

recent weeks against Dragons, Cardiff Blues

and Benetton Rugby.

Connacht have scored 44 tries in the PRO14

this season – the most in Conference B, with

Alex Wootton scoring 9 of those, making him

the joint top try scorer in the tournament this

season so far, alongside Leinster's Scott Penny.

The former Munster Rugby Academy player

also has the highest stats for metres gained,

with a total of 599.

Andy Friend joined Connacht in 2018 and

recently extended his contract until the end of

the 2022/23 season. Coaching since 1995, the

Australian had previous stints with the Waratahs

and the Brumbies. He joined Harlequins in 2005

as Head Coach where he spent three seasons,

and subsequently returned to the Brumbies

as Head Coach where he remained until 2011.

Friend also worked as a head coach in Japan

for four seasons. On the international stage

he worked as part of Eddie Jones’ Wallabies

coaching team and guided the Australian U21

team to the final of the World Championships

in 2005. Prior to making the move to Galway,

Friend was Head Coach of the Australian

Sevens team. He is joined by Attack Coach

Nigel Carolan, Forwards Coach Jimmy Duffy

and Defence Coach Peter Wilkins.

ONE TO WATCH

Position: Wing

Age: 26

Born: Prestbury, UK

Appearances: 14

Tries: 10

Metres gained: 754

Defenders beaten: 34

Carries: 91

Tackles: 45

ALEX WOOTTON

On the international scene, Bundee Aki, Ultan

Dillane, Dave Heffernan and Quinn Roux have

all been involved in Andy Farrell’s Six Nations

squad, with Dillane coming off the bench in the

game against France on February 14 last.

MUNSTER v CONNACHT | 05.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

21


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 (20 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 (41 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 (74 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 (49 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

22 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


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 (1 cap)

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 (91 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 (88 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 CONNACHT | 05.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

23


MUNSTER RUGBY

STARTING XV

James Cronin Niall Scannell Stephen Archer

Fineen

Billy Holland (C)

Wycherley

Jack

O’Donoghue

Chris Cloete

Gavin Coombes

Craig Casey

Ben Healy

Shane Daly

Rory Scannell

Chris Farrell

Andrew Conway

Mike Haley

#MUNvCON

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Replacements

16. Kevin O'Byrne 17. Jeremy Loughman 18. John Ryan 19. Jean Kleyn

20. Jack O'Sullivan 21. Nick McCarthy 22. Joey Carbery 23. Damian de Allende

24 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


CONNACHT RUGBY

STARTING XV

Denis Buckley

Dave Heffernan

Finlay Bealham

Ultan Dillane

Gavin Thornbury

Jarrad Butler (C)

Conor Oliver

Paul Boyle

Caolin Blade

Jack Carty

Matt Healy

Bundee Aki

Tom Daly

John Porch

Tiernan

O’Halloran

MATCH OFFICIALS

Referee: Chris Busby (IRFU)

AR1: Andrew Brace (IRFU)

AR2: Eoghan Cross (IRFU)

TMO: Joy Neville (IRFU)

Replacements

16. Shane Delahunt 17. Matthew Burke 18. Jack Aungier 19. Niall Murray

20. Eoghan Masterson 21. Kieran Marmion 22. Sean O’Brien 23. Alex Wootton

MUNSTER v CONNACHT | 05.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

25


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.

26 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


These clubs have chosen Macron

Contact us for a quotation

CORK: Unit 8, Metro Business Park, Ballycurreen, Kinsale Road Ck04095

T: 0866640916

john.orourke@macronstore.com

MUNSTER v CONNACHT | 05.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

27


Visit eirsport.ie to subscribe

28 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


VIRTUAL MUNSTER MASCOTS

STEPHEN O’REILLY

Age: 9

School: Glounaguillagh N.S.,

Killorglin, Co. Kerry

Hobbies: All sport - rugby, soccer,

football, music & reading

Favourite Player: JJ Hanrahan

FIADH RANDLES

Age: 7

School: St. Catherine’s National School,

Model Farm Road, Cork

Hobbies: Violin and tennis

Favourite Player: Conor Murray

MUNSTER v CONNACHT | 05.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

29


SHEEHAN

BIDING

HER TIME

In a regular season, Laura Sheehan would now

be in the midst of a Six Nations championship

but of course, Covid-19 has thrown the sporting

calendar upside down in the last 12 months.

Instead Ireland will play in a new format 2021

Six Nations in April.

West Cork native Laura Sheehan opted for

a move to Devon just after Christmas to play

with the Exeter Chiefs, where the season is up

and running.

“There’s not a lot of club rugby going on in

Ireland and the AIL just got pulled, unfortunately.

So, my thinking was just try to get a bit of game

time and push on. I’ve been trying a lot over

the last couple of years and haven’t played a lot

of matches just through camps and Covid-19

and things like that. So, I was mainly trying to

get into a matchday squad and try to push for

game time and get that experience. Even just

trying out a new environment to freshen it up

and try to push myself to improve and learn

more as well and challenge myself a bit.”

As a West Cork native from the Beara peninsula,

Gaelic football played a big role in Sheehan’s

underage sporting career and it wasn’t until

she attended UCC that she first got her hands

on the oval ball.

“I started in UCC back when I was in college,”

Sheehan said. “The usual day where you can

sign up to all the clubs and societies and stuff.

So, I signed up to rugby at the end of the day,

and it took off from there. I really enjoyed it and

30 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


then after a couple of years in college, I joined

Highfield and had a good couple of years with

them. When I went to UL to do a Masters, I

ended up joining UL Bohs. I had a great start. I

was very lucky.”

Acknowledging the huge role the close-knit

community of volunteers who work tirelessly in

the women’s game have played in her career,

Sheehan is extremely grateful of being subject

to the wealth of knowledge that was on offer

from her time in UCC, Highfield and UL Bohs.

“In UCC I had Helen Brosnan and Fi Hayes as

my coaches who were both internationals,

had serious careers and still do. They’re both

coaching now and progressing through that

pathway. They were massive. At the time when

I joined UCC, it was just before they went to the

World Cup, so they had Ali Miller training with

us just before she broke onto the scene and had

her hat-trick against England and stuff.

“They were people like Zoe Grattage as well that

broke onto the Irish team. We saw her pathway

through Munster as well. Similarly, when I went

up to Highfield, Nicola Scully who is a legend

for Munster women’s rugby, she put so much

time into myself.”

Sheehan concluded: “Yeah, plenty of people. It

was a great little bubble we had back in Cork in

my formative years in rugby. Lots and lots of

brilliant people.”

Although biding her time for the next opportunity

to pull on a green jersey, the establishment

of the fixtures for 2021 Women’s Six Nations

championship is a real boost. Her progression

to the international arena is a testament to her

determination and work-ethic but it’s also clear

that the passion for women’s rugby in Munster,

driven by hundreds of volunteers, had a major

impact on her development.

MUNSTER v CONNACHT | 05.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

31


Celebrating 40 years in Ireland, Marks & Spencer is delighted to have

Peter O’Mahony as its first Irish sports ambassador.

The Big Hitters in

Data Intelligence

tqsintegration.com

32 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


LIVING WITH

COVID-19

The Government of Ireland have announced revisions to their Plan for Living with COVID-19.

The IRFU understands many people will have

questions about changes to current restrictions

as they apply to rugby in the community.

Level 5 restrictions will remain in place until

April 5th 2021 at the earliest as follows:

TRAINING

People may meet with people from one other

household in outdoor settings when taking

exercise.

No indoor or outdoor exercise group activities,

including those involving children, should take

place.

MATCHES AND EVENTS

Professional, elite sports, horse racing,

greyhound racing and approved equestrian

events only are permitted to continue behind

closed doors.

No other matches or events are to take place.

GYMS, LEISURE CENTRES AND

SWIMMING POOLS

Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools are

closed.

Source:https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/2dc71-level-5/#exercise-and-sporting-events

Should further clarity be provided around permitted rugby activity in clubs and schools, the IRFU

will summarise this information and share it directly with our stakeholders.

Any further information supplied by Sport Ireland will also be shared with clubs and schools.

Updates from the Northern Ireland Executive will be shared with clubs and schools in Ulster.

The IRFU are committed to mapping out a phased return to rugby activity for clubs and schools

when it is safe and responsible to so.

This will be based on suppression of the COVID-19 virus and the easing of current restrictions.

MUNSTER v CONNACHT | 05.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

33


RUGBY DEVELOPMENT NEWS

JERSEYS OF MUNSTER ON DISPLAY AT THOMOND PARK

Following on from the success of the ‘Be There’

campaign with supporters’ portraits positioned

in the East Stand of Thomond Park, today sees

the first game in which the jerseys of Munster’s

clubs and schools are displayed in the West

Stand.

As lockdown measures continue and everyone

plays their part in the fight against Covid-19

this campaign sees Munster joining forces with

our clubs and schools, acknowledging the role

the clubs and schools have played in paving

the way for Munster to continue playing at

this level. Our clubs and schools are central to

every Munster squad that takes to the pitch and

with three successive home Guinness PRO14

games in March the province wishes to further

highlight the importance of grassroots rugby

during these challenging times.

Head of Rugby Development, Colm McMahon,

said: “We understand the challenges everyone

is facing at this time, and we are hugely grateful

for the work that is continuing behind the

scenes.

“While rugby in the community is on hold,

we want to ensure our volunteers, players,

coaches, and administrators know that they

play an integral role in what we are doing on

and off the pitch.

“We are working closely with our volunteers to

drive engagement across the rugby community

and this display of our respective clubs' and

schools’ jerseys is a representation of the very

fabric of Munster Rugby and provides a timely

reminder of what we can all look forward to on

the return of grassroots rugby.”

#JerseysOfMunster

34 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


TRAINING SOLO

The Munster Rugby Development Department

have designed a weekly individual training

programme aimed at players U13 and up

(including adults) during the current Level 5

restrictions.

A weekly plan is being shared help support

players and assist in keeping them active. This

plan is most suitable for those involved in the

15-a-side game.

Click here for content to keep the Minis and

Primary School aged children active during the

current lockdown.

Please visit the Coaching Children Playlist (U7-

U12) on our YouTube channel (subscribe here)

for previous videos and content from the last

12 months.

“MOVE WITH MUNSTER” CAMPAIGN

The "Move With Munster" campaign continues,

with Munster's men's and women's players

getting involved alongside the Club &

Community Rugby Development coaches by

hosting a series of live fitness workouts and

fundamental movement challenges in order to

promote a healthy level of activity.

Club & Community Rugby Development Officer

Dan O’Sullivan hosted live online lunchtime

sessions every Tuesday and Thursday which

focused on different bodyweight and strength &

conditioning exercises and aimed at adolescents

and adults.

In addition to this, a series of fundamental

movement videos are also being distributed to

schools in Munster featuring demonstrations

from players in both the Munster men and

women’s senior squads, including Jean

Kleyn, Joey Carbery, Dan Goggin and Eimear

Considine, providing a useful PE resource for

Primary School children who can carry them out

at home during this lockdown, at the weekends,

or for when schools return.

#MoveWithMunster

MUNSTER v CONNACHT | 05.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

35


STAND UP

AND FIGHT

Cara O'Sullivan

36 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


REMEMBERING

CARA

It is with great sadness that we learned of the

passing of the late Cara O’Sullivan in January

after an illness.

For more than a decade, Cara was a huge fan

favourite at Munster matches, ever since her

first appearance against Sale Sharks in the

old Thomond Park in 2006, where she sang

alongside a piano that had been wheeled onto

the side of the pitch for the occasion.

Munster were on a roll that season, going on

to win a first European title, and Cara was part

of that story, singing at the quarter-final against

Perpignan at Lansdowne Road and the final in

Cardiff in May 2006.

Merging rugby with opera may not seem

so out of the ordinary nowadays, but it was

an anomaly at the time and very unique to

Munster. Munster’s link to the dramatic music

genre was already in its DNA, with “Stand Up

and Fight” traced back to Bizet’s opera Carmen

and famously introduced by Brian O’Brien to

Munster.

Cara's special musical gift and her love of

rugby perfectly intertwined on match days,

demonstrating how music can inspire and align

players and fans alike. She helped to bring the

fans to fever pitch as the Munster team ran

out, ensuring both players and fans were all

moving with singular purpose. Her passionate

performances of ‘Stand Up and Fight’ before

kick off set the tone for plenty of on-field

passion that followed. She was inspired by the

men in red, and she in turn inspired them and

the supporters.

© Frances Marshall from Marshall Light Studio

Cara had an incredible career performing on

the biggest opera stages of the world and is

acknowledged as one of the greatest voices

Ireland has ever produced. To put it mildly,

Cara was a world class superstar in the opera

world and beloved as a performer, illustrated

by the huge outpouring of tributes in Ireland

and internationally on her passing. Her greatest

roles of course were that of mother, daughter,

sister and friend.

Whether performing solo in the early years, or

accompanied by the MRSC Choir, Cara came

to the games with purpose, with a job to do,

and took it very seriously. A consummate

professional, she was unrelenting in her quest

to do her best for Munster and for the team.

For three minutes, the pitch was her stage, her

audience in the palm of her hand, and Thomond

Park the grandest theatre of them all.

Thank you, Cara.

Ar dheis De go raibh a hanam dilis

MUNSTER v CONNACHT | 05.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

37


38 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


GET INVOLVED

FOLLOW

ALL THE

ACTION

@PRO14Official

@PRO14Official

@PRO14Official

@PRO14Rugby

@PRO14Rugby

@PRO14Rugby

MUNSTER v CONNACHT | 05.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

39


40 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


HOLLAND

BILLY

Age: 35

Position: Lock

Season Appearances: 11

Tries: 1

Passes completed: 50

Carries: 33

Tackles: 113

Offloads: 4

Lineouts won: 25

Lineout steals: 2

Last Friday night Billy Holland overtook Ronan O'Gara's 240 caps for Munster and became Munster's

second most capped player of all time, behind Donncha O'Callaghan's record of 268 appearances.

He topped off winning his 240th cap two weeks ago against Edinburgh with a Guinness PRO14

Player of the Match performance. He has made 11 appearances this season, scoring a try against

Glasgow Warriors in November. While he announced earlier this week that he will retire at the

end of this season, Billy has shown week in week out that he is in the form of his career and is

determined to end on a high.

MUNSTER v CONNACHT | 05.03.21 | THOMOND PARK5

41


Meet our

new fly half...

We’re making it easy for you to book your perfect holiday from

Shannon Airport. With great speed, efficiency and handling

ability, paired with a vision to see all options, flyshannon.ie

has the expert skills to kick start your perfect sun holiday or

city break. Let us do the hard work so you can enter into full

holiday mode as soon as you visit Flyshannon.ie.

Book Now

061 575 490

flyshannon.ie

Find & Book at

42 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


“GAMECHANGER”

FOR SCARIFF RFC

that the generosity displayed by 30 members of

the club was the crucial final piece of the puzzle.

It has taken years of research, hard work,

fundraising and ambition but Scariff RFC are

almost at the finishing line with the approaching

completion of their new indoor pitch.

The indoor facility will consist of a 40x20m

state-of-the-art 4G pitch and President Michael

Madden describes it as a “gamechanger” for

the East Clare club.

“We were watching a lot of New Zealand videos

of different things they are doing down there.

They seem to be doing them all inside, in indoor

sheds and things like that. Their weather is

something similar to our own so that got into

our heads. The finances had to be taken into it

but that was the idea of where it came from.”

“Financially, it’s hopefully going to be a great

addition to the club. As well as that, the amount

of training sessions that we used to have

called off because we would do a lot of our

training sessions on the Friday night because

we’d be playing on the Sunday. This will be a

gamechanger.

“We can train now; teams can train on different

nights during the week. We’ll be able to do full

contact on it and it will finally add to the picture

that we will have every facility possible in the

club. They will either want to play or they don’t

want to play but they will be left with no excuse

not to.”

The club have undertaken numerous

fundraising initiatives over the years to help

finance the development, but Madden explains

“What’s really finished (the project) is that we’ve

managed to get 30 guys in the club to give

€1,000 for 10-year membership and without

that, we wouldn’t have been able to finish it.

Over the last three or four years, everything that

we’ve been raising…we’ve done tons. We did a

boxing night, we did poker classics, we’ve done

Lottos. The committee has worked its socks off

to get this thing over the line. Hopefully, what

we’ve done for the club will stand for the next

50 years.”

The club has experienced huge growth in

its underage numbers in recent years. A

rebranding of the club’s underage teams to the

‘East Clare Titans’ was undertaken to put the

message out there that they welcome all young

people in the larger vicinity rather than those

solely connected to Scariff.

“So, by calling it East Clare Titans, it’s an East

Clare team for rugby. We have people from all

different areas now. We started off with maybe

four or five kids nearly eight or nine years ago

and now we have an U13s, an U14s…We’ve

good numbers at every level. We could always

do with five or ten more at each level, but we

have numbers that we’ve never seen before in

the club at every level. Hopefully, that’s enough

to drive it on.”

Madden says that the facility is almost near

completion and hopes for it to be finished by the

middle of March. Although it will likely be some

time before the club’s players get an opportunity

to experience the fruits of all the hard work that

has been done over the last few years, Madden

believes it is a huge achievement.

“It’s amazing. I’ve been down there just to walk

around and it’s going to be a huge addition to

East Clare. There’s nothing of its like in Clare

anyway so we’ll definitely be the first. For a

small club like ours, it’s a huge achievement

once we get it over the line.”

MUNSTER v CONNACHT | 05.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

43


RECOVER LIKE A PRO

Supporting the Red Army

On & Off the Field

Available in Leading Pharmacies Nationwide

PROUDLY SUPPORTING MUNSTER RUGBY

Medicare First Aid and Physiologix Sports Supports are

the official medical supplies and sport support partner to

Munster Rugby

@Medicarefirstaid

@PhysiologixSports

@Physiologix_

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

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 Munster 21-7 Harlequins BT Sport, beIN Sports

Sat 19 Dec

Clermont Auvergne 31-39 Munster beIN Sports, BT Sport

Sat 02 Jan Ulster 15-10 Munster eir Sport, Premier Sports

Sat 09 Jan Connacht 10-16 Munster eir Sport, TG4, Premier Sports

Sat 23 Jan Munster 10-13 Leinster eir Sport, Premier Sports

Sat 30 Jan Benetton Rugby 16-18 Munster beIN Sports, BT Sport

Sat 20 Feb Edinburgh 10-22 Munster Premier Sports, TG4

Fri 26 Feb Cardiff Blues 11-20 Munster Premier Sports, TG4

Fri 5 Mar | 7:35pm Munster v Connacht Premier Sports, Eir Sport

Fri 12 Mar | 8pm Munster v Scarlets Premier Sports, TG4

Fri 19 Mar | 6pm Munster v Benetton Rugby Premier Sports, TG4

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

MUNSTER v CONNACHT | 05.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

45


46 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


FULL MATCH REPLAYS

NOW AVAILABLE

WITH XTRA

MEMBERSHIP.

SIGN UP FOR FREE AT

PRO14.RUGBY

MUNSTER v CONNACHT | 05.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

47


MUNSTER v CONNACHT | 05.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

48

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines