Munster Rugby v Connacht Rugby Match Programme

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Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup Round 3 | Find out all you need to know ahead of Munster v Connacht.

Check out your free copy of the official digital match programme.

v CONNACHT | FRI 14 MAY 2021 | THOMOND PARK | 6PM

MUNSTER v CONNACHT | 14.05.21 | THOMOND PARK

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READY

TO Rise

Again

A thousand voices.

A thousand places.

One club.

© 2020 adidas AG

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PRESIDENT’S WELCOME

are few of our newer players who have yet to

experience the atmosphere of a full Thomond

Park, something that both players and all the

Munster faithful are really looking forward to.

I know I speak for you all when I wish Johann,

all the coaching team and the entire squad the

best of luck in tonight’s game.

This evening we welcome Andy Friend and his

team to Thomond Park for this Round 3 game

in the Rainbow Cup.

Connacht got off to a great start in this series

with an away win over Ulster in Round 1 but

suffered a loss to Leinster last weekend at

the Sportsground. Munster on the other hand

have two from two after their impressive

performance and win against Ulster last Friday

night.

All interpro games are important but this one

is a little more significant. For Connacht, a win

would put them back in the mix at the top end of

the table, while for Munster a home win could

keep them in top spot, but that will depend

on the result from the Benetton v Zebre game

tomorrow night. It is all to play for and it’s a

game that deserves a full Thomond Park crowd.

For the moment, it is only the 1400+ portraits

and all the club and school jerseys in the stand

that will be there. The day is hopefully getting

ever nearer to when we will be there in person

once again. It is hard to believe that there

Over the last short while, pictures of our young

and thankfully now the not so young players

out training is really positive. While there is a bit

to go yet, hopefully we are on the home straight

and normality resumes sometime soon. In the

meantime, keep doing the right things, abide by

the guidelines and we will get there.

Our congratulations to Conor Murray and

Tadhg Beirne on their Lions selection and to

all our Munster players involved in the Ireland

U20s and 7s series.

Our sympathies and thoughts to the family

of Martin Breen who sadly passed away

last week. Martin from Waterpark RFC was

President of the Munster Branch in 1998/99.

May he rest in peace.

Once again, our thanks to our main sponsor

Bank of Ireland, our kit supplier adidas and all

our sponsors for their continued support.

Stay strong, stay positive and stay safe.

Seán 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 CONNACHT | 14.05.21 | THOMOND PARK

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MUNSTER v CONNACHT | 14.05.21 | THOMOND PARK

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MUNSTER v CONNACHT

Munster and Benetton will put their 100 per cent records on the line this week as the Guinness PRO14

Rainbow Cup prepares for an action-packed Round 3.

The Irish side and Italian challengers are the

only two northern section teams with unbeaten

records after two matches, opening a threepoint

gap on their closest rivals the Dragons.

Munster host Connacht at Thomond Park on

Friday while Benetton are in derby mode again

when they play at home to Zebre 24 hours later.

Munster have lost just once in their last five

matches on home soil - against Heineken

Champions Cup opponents Toulouse.

Connacht launched their Rainbow Cup

campaign with an impressive 26-24 victory over

RAINBOW CUP ROUND 3 PREVIEW

Ulster but they have not won successive away

games since February and gone more than

three years since last beating Munster.

Elsewhere, Leinster and Ulster face off in

Dublin tonight, Cardiff Blues and Scarlets play

tomorrow afternoon followed by Benetton v

Zebre and Edinburgh v Glasgow Warrior. On

Sunday, Dragons play Ospreys.

The competition's intensity is underlined by the

fact that 10 of the 12 northern sides have won at

least one game, with only Zebre and Ulster yet

to get off the mark.

Gavin Coombes

powers through

the Ulster defence

POS TEAM PL W D L PF PA DIFF TF TA TB LB Points

1 Munster Rugby 2 2 0 0 65 13 52 9 1 1 0 9

2 Benetton Rugby 2 2 0 0 71 39 32 9 5 1 0 9

3 Dragons 2 1 0 1 68 49 19 8 7 1 1 6

4 Ospreys 2 1 0 1 42 36 6 6 3 1 0 5

5 Leinster Rugby 2 1 0 1 53 48 5 8 5 1 0 5

6 Scarlets 2 1 0 1 54 58 -4 6 7 1 0 5

7 Glasgow Warriors 2 1 0 1 48 65 -17 7 9 1 0 5

8 Connacht Rugby 2 1 0 1 47 74 -27 6 12 1 0 5

9 Edinburgh Rugby 2 1 0 1 43 47 -4 6 6 0 0 4

10 Cardiff Blues 2 1 0 1 31 52 -21 4 7 0 0 4

11 Zebre Rugby Club 2 0 0 2 38 49 -11 4 6 0 2 2

12 Ulster Rugby 2 0 0 2 34 64 -30 5 10 1 1 2

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Mike Haley is

presented with the

Guinness Player of

the Match award by

Peter O'Mahony after

the Ulster game last

weekend

HEAD TO HEAD

Munster wins

32 5 1

Connacht wins

Draw

Abraham Papali’i

in action last

weekend

MATCH FACTS

Munster’s only defeat at Thomond Park in

their last five matches was to Toulouse in

the Round of 16 of the European Champions

Cup.

Connacht Rugby’s only win in their last six

matches was 26-24 at Ulster in the opening

round of the Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup.

Connacht have not won successive away

games since February.

Munster have won their last seven matches

against Connacht since Connacht’s 20-16

victory at the Sportsground in October 2017.

Connacht have won only once at Thomond

Park since 1986: 18-12 in November 2015.

MUNSTER v CONNACHT | 14.05.21 | THOMOND PARK

7


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MUNSTER v CONNACHT | 14.05.21 | THOMOND PARK

9


THE INSIDE

TRACK

JOHANN VAN GRAAN

On the performances over the last few weeks…

“Feather in the cap of all players and management

involved. We didn’t change so much, we entered

the Champions Cup to do very well, the same with

the PRO14, we lost in that final, we lost against a

very good Toulouse team in an excellent game of

rugby. We were just short in the end. Everybody

just knuckled down, and we just stuck to our

processes. I thought we really played well in our

last two games. Now it showed on the scoreboard,

that win against Leinster away and I was very

happy with our performance on Friday night

against a very good Ulster side.”

On the most satisfying part of the win last

weekend from a coaching perspective?

“It is nice to get a complete performance. I thought

our mindset was very good going into the game.

We conceded that penalty to go down 3-0 but

we stuck to the processes, we converted our

opportunities. I thought our breakdown work was

excellent on both sides of the ball. That’s a big part

of our DNA and it is something we will keep going

back to. I thought some of our phase attack and

some of our options were very, very good. The one

thing that we shouldn’t miss if you look at our last

two games is our defence. We conceded 3 points

against Leinster and 10 points against Ulster. So in

our last two games against two sides in the PRO14

who also won 14/16 in the league phase, the same

as ourselves. We conceded 13 points in the last

160 minutes so, a lot to be positive about from

a coaches’ perspective or from a coaching staff

perspective. We made nine changes to the team.

We will make some changes to the team again this

weekend and once we know what’s happening to

the rest of the tournament, we will keep backing our

squad. We said as a group before this competition

is we can only control our performance and would

like to perform in this part of the season, and let’s

keep backing the squad. All credit to the players

they got stuck into every training session and we

have had two really good games and now we have

another interpro coming up.”

On playing Connacht this evening…

“We just keep focussing on ourselves and we

would like to perform again on Friday evening.

I know the games against Connacht have been

really tough over the last season. We were up by

quite a bit in the Sportsground just after Christmas

and they came back. I think we finished the game

with 13 men on our own goal line. The next game

we saw as a quarter final at Thomond Park - I think

it was at the end of February if I’m not mistaken.

That was really tight with a few minutes to go so

it’s another interpro. There’s a lot of pride at stake.

If we look at the competition, a lot of sides are still

in this competition. If it’s only going to be 5 rounds,

you can’t afford to lose twice. So obviously they

have got a lot to play for and so have we, so we are

really looking forward to Friday night. But it’s still a

time of Covid and for us it’s great to play another

game of rugby. The conditions have been good

over the last two games and hopefully we can get

another good game on Friday night with some

good conditions.”

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CRAIG CASEY

On having the opportunity to learn from Conor

Murray and the reaction to his Lions selection…

“Obviously, he’s buzzing, it’s great for the club, for

himself and Tadhg to be with the Lions. I know it’s

Mur’s third tour which is an incredible achievement

for him in fairness. It’s a credit to the work he puts

in. He has been buzzing for the last week obviously.

I thought he did a very good job on Friday night, he

put the Lions announcement past him and played

well. Learning off him for the past few years has

been great. I keep coming back to this - when I was

coming out of school, I knew I needed to work on

my kicking game and who better to have the best

kicking 9 in the world to work off so, he has given

me a lot of tips. It’s a competitive environment…

I’m always trying to up him and he’s always trying

to up me, same with Nick (McCarthy), Patsy

(Patterson) and Ethan (Coughlan) at the minute

so it’s been great, a competitive environment is

brilliant so like I’ve said it’s been class.”

bounds being able to play quicker from the fitness

and lockdown and stuff. It has been good.”

On how Munster are playing at the moment…

“I think it shows the resolve in the squad that we

have bounced back from the two defeats, they

were very disappointing obviously. I think it has

been good to bounce back the last two games

against tough oppositions, Leinster and Ulster. I

just think it clicked the last two weeks to be honest.

I think we have been building nicely over the last

few months. Our attack has been going well so I

think we have showed that in the last two weeks

definitely, scoring over 60 points. So yeah, we are

taking our opportunities.”

On his strengths as a player…

“I like to play with a massive tempo. My passing

game is probably what I call my point of difference,

so I like to whip out passes and play at high tempo

and try and make decisions at a high pace. That’s

probably what I would base my game around.”

On his ambition to get more game time in the

Irish jersey in light of the announcement of

summer fixtures…

“100%, it’s definitely a goal of mine to be involved

in those two games and make the most out of them

but I think my focus lies on this weekend and the

games coming up because I have to play my best

to even get on the squad. So I’m looking forward

to the next few games hopefully putting a run of

a few games together and potentially getting on

that squad.”

On how his game has progressed over the past

year…

“I think it has come on leaps and bounds.

Obviously, we went into lockdown, it was

definitely a chance to work on my fitness and

my robustness. I think the first lockdown helped

me put on a bit of robustness and put games

together and once you’re playing back-to-back, the

consistency comes and you’re more confident out

on the field and things happen. I think it has come

on leaps and bounds. Steve as well has given me

lots of tips, a few ‘work-ons’ that I needed to bring

into my game, so I think it has come on leaps and

MUNSTER v CONNACHT | 14.05.21 | THOMOND PARK

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MUNSTER v CONNACHT | 14.05.21 | THOMOND PARK

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NEWSROUND

RAINBOW CUP FIXTURES CONFIRMED

The remaining fixtures for the Northern and Southern Rainbow Cup competitions have been put

in place with kick-off times and broadcast details confirmed.

Following Friday night’s fixture against Connacht,

Munster will face Cardiff Blues at Thomond Park

on Friday, May 28 at 7.35pm before a clash away

to Zebre on Friday, June 11 (6pm Irish time).

Across the remaining five rounds of action, four

will see action taking place in both hemispheres

as with fixtures taking place every week right

through the weekend of June 12.

Meanwhile the South African sides will play a

total of six games across seven weeks and take

a bye weekend on May 28. Supporters in Ireland

and Britain can watch all the Rainbow Cup SA

action on eir Sport and Premier Sports.

Teams in the northern Guinness PRO14 Rainbow

Cup will play a total of five games across six

rounds prior to the final while teams previously

scheduled to host a South African team will

receive a bye week between Rounds 4 to 6.

IRELAND 7S SQUADS

ANNOUNCED

Munster’s Amee Leigh Murphy-Crowe, Emily

Lane and Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird are in action

this weekend for the Ireland 7s team at the

International Rugby 7s where they will go head

to head with the hosts Great Britain and France.

Munster’s Alex Kendellen, Conor Phillips

and Jack Crowley have been selected for the

Ireland Men’s 7s squad playing at the same

event in St. George’s Park. The side continue

their preparations for the World Rugby Sevens

Repechage event and were this week drawn in

Pool A alongside Samoa, Tonga, Zimbabwe and

Mexico for the repechage in Monaco. The final

qualifying tournament for the Olympic Games

takes place on 19-20 June.

Emily Lane

Mike Haley and JJ Hanrahan in action

against Cardiff in February

IRELAND U20s CONTINUE SIX

NATIONS PREPARATION

Ireland U20s continue their preparation for the

postponed 2021 Six Nations with a three-day

camp at the IRFU’s High Performance Centre in

Dublin.

A group of 37 players participated in the

camp as preparations for the postponed 2021

Six Nations Championships begin to take

shape. The coaching group of Richie Murphy,

Denis Leamy, Colm Tucker and Tom Tierney

oversaw five pitch sessions and off-field team

organisational work.

Munster players in attendance:

Mark Donnelly (Garryowen FC) NTS

Alan Flannery (Shannon RFC) NTS

John Forde (Cork Constitution FC) Munster PTS

Jack Kelleher (UCC RFC) Munster PTS

Aaron Leahy (CBC) NTS

Daniel Okeke (Shannon RFC) NTS

Jamie Shanahan (Garryowen FC) Munster PTS

Cian Whooley (UCC RFC) Munster PTS

MUNSTER v CONNACHT | 14.05.21 | THOMOND PARK 15


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GREENCORE MUNSTER

RUGBY ACADEMY NEWS

It has been a busy past month for the Greencore Munster Rugby Academy.

Ian Costello was appointed to the role of

Academy Manager in April and will return to

the province in the summer having worked in

England for the past five years with Nottingham

and then Wasps. See full details HERE.

We can confirm that former Munster player

Andi Kyriacou also rejoins the province as Elite

Player Development Officer (Forwards). Andi

has previously coached at Cardiff Blues, Sale

Sharks, Russia Rugby and Nottingham.

Ben Healy made a further two appearances for

the senior side over the past month and has

now featured in 16 of Munster’s 22 games so

far this season.

There have been 43 senior appearances for

Academy players across the Guinness PRO14,

Champions Cup and Rainbow Cup in the 2020/21

campaign.

Academy trio Jack

Crowley, Alex

Kendellen and Conor

Phillips have been

training with the

Ireland 7s team and

have been named

in their squad for this weekend’s International

Rugby 7s tournament. See full details HERE.

On the injury front, Eoin O’Connor (knee), John

Hodnett (achilles), James French (hamstring),

Jonathan Wren (hamstring), Cian Hurley

(thumb), Scott Buckley (knee) and Thomas

Ahern (knee) are continuing to rehab.

The future continues to be bright with an

expected highest representation of academy

graduates in over eight years in the squad next

season with 66% of the senior squad having

come through the ranks.

Fifteen players commenced the 2020/21 season

with two additional players, Cian Hurley and

Conor Phillips, joining in January 2021. See the

full Academy squad HERE.

Nine players from the current group will advance

to senior contracts ahead of the 2021/22 season

– Thomas Ahern, Jack Crowley, Jack Daly, Jake

Flannery, James French, Seán French, Ben

Healy, John Hodnett and Josh Wycherley.

Eoghan Clarke has completed his time with the

academy and linked up with Championship side

Jersey Reds at the end of March.

Seven academy players made their Guinness

PRO14 debuts this season – Thomas Ahern, Jack

Crowley, Jack Daly, Seán French, Cian Hurley,

Alex Kendellen and Josh Wycherley. Young

prop Wycherley also made his Champions Cup

debut this season.

MUNSTER v CONNACHT | 14.05.21 | THOMOND PARK

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THE LOWDOWN

THE FORM GUIDE

Connacht had a strong start to their interpro

clash with Leinster at the Sportsground last

Saturday night, leading 16-0 early in the first

half after Caolin Blade and Peter Sullivan both

touched down. However, Leinster’s reaction

was fierce, touching down five times in a 20

minute period which put them 33-16 ahead at

the break. Another Sullivan try in the second

half was not enough to stop Leinster with the

visitors winning 21-50.

In Round 1 of the Rainbow Cup, Connacht

impressed in their two point win over Ulster at

Kingspan Stadium with Caolin Blade scoring a

brace of tries and Peter Sullivan’s 80th minute

effort securing the win.

Connacht bowed out of the Challenge Cup

on April 3 last, going down 48-32 to Leicester

Tigers at Welford Road despite tries from Kieran

Marmion, Eoghan Masterson, Alex Wootton

and Paul Boyle and 12 points from the boot of

Jack Carty.

Connacht finished second in Conference B

behind Munster with 8 wins from 16 but scored

the most tries in the conference with 53.

Jack Carty is the club’s top scorer with 115

points in all competitions this season. Alex

Wootton is the top try scorer with 11 tries.

Bundee Aki will represent the province this

summer in South Africa as he was named on

the British & Irish Lions squad last week.

THE COACHING TICKET

We welcome back Andy Friend and his coaching

team to Thomond Park. Friend has been with

the province since 2018 and 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. Connacht

recently announced that former Stade Francais

and Grenoble coach Dewal Senekal will join the

province as forwards coach next season.

ONE TO WATCH

Position: Scrum half

Age: 27

Born: Galway

Appearances: 14

Tries: 5

Clean breaks: 11

Metres: 270

Carries: 62

Tackles: 35

*2020/21 PRO14 & RC

CAOLIN BLADE

MUNSTER v CONNACHT | 14.05.21 | 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 (22 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 (43 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 (75 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 (51 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 (93 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 (89 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 | 14.05.21 | THOMOND PARK

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MUNSTER RUGBY

STARTING XV

James Cronin Rhys Marshall John Ryan Jean Kleyn Billy Holland

Gavin Coombes

Peter

O'Mahony (C)

CJ Stander

Craig Casey

Ben Healy

Shane Daly

Damian de

Allende

Dan Goggin

Andrew Conway

Matt Gallagher

#MUNvCON

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Replacements

16. Niall Scannell 17. Dave Kilcoyne 18. Stephen Archer 19. Tadhg Beirne

20. Jack O'Donoghue 21. Conor Murray 22. Joey Carbery 23. Keith Earls

24 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


CONNACHT RUGBY

STARTING XV

Paddy McAllister

Shane Delahunt

Dominic

Robertson-McCoy

Niall Murray

Ultan Dillane

Cian Prendergast

Conor Oliver

Abraham Papali’i

Kieran Marmion

Conor Fitzgerald

Alex Wootton

Tom Daly (C)

Sean O’Brien

Sammy Arnold

John Porch

MATCH OFFICIALS

Referee: Dan Jones (WRU)

AR1: Eoghan Cross (IRFU)

AR2: Peter Martin (IRFU)

TMO: Joy Neville (IRFU)

Replacements

16. Dave Heffernan 17. Denis Buckley 18. Finlay Bealham 19. Eoghan Masterson

20. Sean Masterson 21. Caolin Blade 22. Jack Carty 23. Peter Sullivan

MUNSTER v CONNACHT | 14.05.21 | THOMOND PARK

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GIVING GIRLS A CHANCE TO TRY

Former Munster player and Ireland international Amanda Greensmith in her current role as the

IRFU’s Women’s Development Manager has reflected on the strides the women’s game has made

in recent years in an interview with Irish Rugby.

Greensmith, who represented Ireland over 20

times and also played for her province for 13

seasons, initially took up a role as Women’s

Community Rugby Officer with Munster in 2010.

During that time, the Ballyhea native experienced

first-hand the growth of girls and women’s rugby

in the province before applying her acquired

knowledge at the national level in her current

role with the IRFU.

“Those years with Munster really generated

huge excitement around the women’s game

for me,” Greensmith said. “When you see first

hand the work being done in clubs and schools,

and the impact that has on young girls, is

remarkable. You remember every conversation

with a teacher, coach or parent when they tell

you one of the girls has come out of their shell

or has never been so engaged with PE or a sport

before, and that’s what it’s all about.

“Being part of the pathways that help players get

into Provincial and National jerseys is of course

fantastic, but there’s also that joy of helping

a person find their fit. Be it at schools, club or

international level. Providing those opportunities

for girls to fulfil whatever their ambition is. That’s

our job.”

The holistic approach to coaching which is

adopted throughout the province at underage

level has yielded dividends in recent years with

many clubs experiencing a growth in numbers in

their respective girls and women’s programmes.

Ennis RFC’s women’s team will be hoping to play

their inaugural competitive match later this year

after their debut season was cut short due to the

pandemic.

Equally as important, the emergence of new role

models at the highest level of the game continue

to act as a source of inspiration for the younger

generation. With the recently concluded 2021

Women’s Six Nations, Cork native Emily Lane

and Tipperary native Amee Leigh Murphy-

Crowe both made their international 15s debuts

while the likes of Dorothy Wall, Eimear Considine

and Ireland captain Ciara Griffin, to name but a

few, continue to perform on the biggest stage.

“You’re always proud of the players who go on

to achieve their ambitions, whether that’s with

their club, their province or with Ireland, but to

give young girls the opportunity to get active

and try rugby is massive.

“The key thing for me is simply

giving someone the chance to

find their sport, or find their fit.

To say, this is where I feel most

comfortable and I’m most

happy. It’s that opportunity to

be around friends, team-mates

and to Give It A Try, because

you just don’t know where it

will take you, and I certainly

didn’t know where rugby

would take me either.”

New programmes have been set up – Dolphin

RFC in Cork City have recently set up a brand

new girls and women’s rugby programme while

If your club is interested in participating in girls’ rugby please contact Munster Rugby

Women’s Development Officer Ken Imbusch at kenimbusch@munsterrugby.ie

MUNSTER v CONNACHT | 14.05.21 | THOMOND PARK

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MUNSTER v CONNACHT | 14.05.21 | THOMOND PARK

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RUGBY DEVELOPMENT NEWS

TAG RUGBY RETURNS FOR SUMMER OF FUN

The IRFU Rugby Development Department

have come together with the four provinces to

announce a new strategy for the roll out of tag

rugby in the domestic game.

Now in its 15th year, the IRFU Tag Rugby

programme will be operated at provincial level

in Connacht, Leinster, Munster and Ulster for

the first time. The move is designed to give noncontact

rugby a greater footprint at grassroots

level in 2021 and beyond while strengthening

the relationship between provinces and clubs in

the running of participation programmes. The

IRFU will continue to drive the programme with

training, education and strategic support.

Tag Rugby matches are set to be permitted

again in the Republic of Ireland on June 7, under

the easing of current government restrictions.

Further announcements will be made at

provincial level in the coming weeks with

exciting opportunities for clubs to get involved

and for players to get back on tag rugby pitches.

Rugby clubs around the province got back

in action this week with the announcement

that outdoor training for adults in pods of a

maximum of 15 people could return, including

contact training. Outdoor contact training for

those under the age of 18 in pods of a maximum

of 15 people has also returned.

CONTACT TRAINING RETURNS

As of last Monday, training can be contact,

non-contact or a blend of both. This is strictly

on an opt-in basis and should be based on the

feedback of each individual playing group.

Please note, all clubs and schools who wish to

play structured contact rugby must undergo a

minimum of four weeks of contact readiness

training.

Commercial activities operated by clubs

including bar and cafe facilities are subject to

relevant sector guidelines.

The Kerry Development Squad

in training

30 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


AGE-GRADE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME RESUMES

With the easing of Covid restrictions and the

resumption of underage non-contact sport,

the Rugby Development Department recommenced

the age-grade player development

programme, inviting identified players from

clubs and schools into county training centres.

In total, 12 centres are running across the six

counties in Munster. Speaking about the return,

Coach and Player Development Manager Keith

Murphy said:

“We are delighted to resume our age-grade

player development programme. We have

invited back the 2003-2005 born players who

were with us last summer. Having spent the last

four months doing weekly Zoom meetings and

Individual Conditioning & Skills Programmes at

home, it is great for the players and coaches to

get back on the pitch.”

The player development programme is

designed to support players by focussing on

their technical, tactical and physical capacities

and adding to their holistic rugby experience.

The Munster age-grade player development

pathway commences with U16 players coming

from clubs and schools throughout the province

and delivers programmes at U17 clubs and

schools, U18 clubs and schools, culminating

with an U19 combined squad.

The current programme, which will run across

a six-week period, is based out of 12 venues

throughout the province. The extra venues,

as Murphy explains, is to ensure that a safe

environment is provided to all under the current

government guidelines.

The Rugby Development Department are

currently supporting clubs and schools with

their #ReadyForRugby programmes. If you are

looking for support, please feel free to contact

your designated Rugby Development Officer

or coach and Player Development Officer.

Resources to assist coaches can be accessed

through our coaching site HERE

Sunday’s Well RFC recently announced that

former Munster and Ireland international

Denis Hurley has been appointed as the

club’s new senior head coach.

HURLEY TO LEAD THE WELL

Denis made his final Munster appearance

away to Stade Francais in January 2016

and amassed 166 caps where he helped the

province to a Heineken Cup title in 2008,

PRO12 titles in 2009 and 2011, and a famous

win over Australia at Thomond Park in 2010.

MUNSTER v CONNACHT | 14.05.21 | THOMOND PARK

31


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32 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


VIRTUAL MUNSTER MASCOTS

CALUM BURKE

Age: 6

School: Firmount NS, Donoughmore, Co. Cork

Hobbies: Reading, colouring, outdoor play

Favourite player: Peter O’Mahony

NATHAN FLYNN

Age: 8

School: Scoil Iosaf, Castlemartyr, Co. Cork

Hobbies: Rugby, cycling, hurling, football

and reading

Favourite players: Peter O’Mahony &

CJ Stander

MUNSTER v CONNACHT | 14.05.21 | THOMOND PARK

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MUNSTER v CONNACHT | 14.05.21 | THOMOND PARK

35


THE PRIDE OF MUNSTER

Munster’s Tadhg Beirne is set to go on his first Lions tour this summer alongside his Munster and

Ireland teammate Conor Murray, who will tour for the third time with the Lions.

Beirne has enjoyed a superb season for his province and country, picking up three Player of the

Match awards in ten appearances for Munster and capping off an impressive Six Nations campaign

by being nominated for Player of the Tournament. He won two Player of the Match awards and

started all five of Ireland’s games, scoring two tries in the process.

Conor Murray has been in exceptional form this season, showing his class again in recent weeks

with three tries in his last two appearances for Munster.

The 32-year-old Limerick man is just one match away from his 150th appearance for Munster and

one match away from his 90th cap for Ireland. He has played 12 times for the Lions, scoring three

tries. He was the starting scrumhalf for all three test matches in the last tour.

We caught up with Tadhg and Conor shortly after they were announced in Warren Gatland’s squad…

TADHG BEIRNE

“I found out when everybody else found out, I

watched it with Harriet. I remember from last time

watching it they did it alphabetically but when they

said they are doing backs first, I was like, oh I’m

going to have to wait now, and then when they did

the forwards, I was first out, so it was nice to get

announced early in the forwards group, that’s for

sure. I called my Mum, she was on Facetime, well

she was with my sister and they were on Facetime

to both of my sisters over in Australia watching it.

So I rang them, there was a lot of excitement there

and then I rang my Dad straight after.

“It is something you just kind of watch as you are

growing up as a kid and it’s the biggest honour you

could get as a rugby player after playing for your

country. So I’m massively proud and as I’ve said

I’m still a bit in shock you know. I don’t think that

this time last year I would have been anywhere

close to it if they were selecting it, so timing is

everything and I’m delighted to be involved that’s

for sure.

“It wasn’t really on my mind too much at the start

because I was coming back from injury and my

main thing at the start of the season was to just

try get back into the Irish set-up. Then through

the Autumn, I probably wasn’t being selected as

first choice so going into the Six Nations it was

more to just be in the squad and try to get in a

few appearances. But obviously it went different

to that and I managed to start all the games. That’s

what probably put me in this position obviously

alongside playing well for Munster. I wouldn’t

have gotten back into that Irish squad if it wasn’t

for that, so I’ve be pretty lucky in terms of being

able to put in decent performances in big games

and that’s probably why I’ve have the privilege of

being selected for the Lions.

“I don’t think I had ever planned on achieving this

much to be honest. It was just at a certain point it

was just to become a professional rugby player -

make it my occupation and I was lucky to be able

to do that. But to achieve what I have achieved in

the past few years - you know I’ll probably look

back some day and I’ll have to pinch myself to

believe it happened. So at the moment I’m just

going to enjoy it and I can’t wait. For now, my

focus will obviously be on Munster and hopefully

we can finish with a bit of silverware towards the

end of the year.”

36 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


CONOR MURRAY

“I’m very shocked. You obviously think you are

in with a shout. I suppose the time leading up to

it, doubt probably starts to creep in a little bit no

matter how much you think you have a chance,

there’s always that chance that it might go to plan

so. My partner Joanna was in the house and the

dog and everything. So I think my name came out

quite early in the backs announcement.

“I’m over the moon. It’s an incredible feeling. A

bit of relief too because your family are on to you

wondering if you’ve heard anything, and you're

kind of sick of telling them that you don’t know,

you literally don’t know, you find out along with

everyone else. But yeah, it’s an unbelievable

feeling, really, really special time and really

grateful for the opportunity to go and represent

that special club again.

“It’s pretty special to be going to South Africa. We

were there in 2016 with Ireland. Incredibly special

country, rugby mad, world champions. You

know the storyline, it’s going to build up nicely.

Obviously Rassie and Jacques are involved still,

and it will be nice to get reacquainted with them.

I suppose from a personal point of view, having

been on two tours, after the one in New

Zealand in 2017, you’re trying to map it

out, what age you will be and do you

have a chance. There was always that

outside chance. The body feels great, I feel fit,

I feel in form, playing in a great team here with

Munster. I think we are a really happy squad. We

are a really content squad and I think that makes

an awful difference to how you play on the pitch.

You can see it in our performances this season.

So I’m very grateful for that, to be involved in a

club like this and that probably puts you in the

shop window and puts you in with a chance. It’s

incredible to cap it off. And I’m not going to lie, I

really did want to be involved in the third one, it

was a big carrot, and thankfully it went my way.

“With the buzz of the game the day after the

announcement, it was quite hard to refocus the

mind and get ready for a game. I think that was

the most challenging part. You have people

texting you to stay fit, and ‘make sure you don’t

get injured.’ That’s the worst thing to have in your

head. You just have got to go out and play fully and

commit to everything your involved in. We are still

trying to win a cup. We aren’t far off at all. I suppose

as an older Munster player, we have been saying

that for years, ‘We aren’t far off, we aren’t far off’,

but this squad is genuinely really, really close to

achieving something. Especially with the youth

injection, the coaching, the experienced players

we do have. So there is

a nice blend there to do

something special. That’s

the aim at the moment.

We will park everything

else that’s coming down

the line in

the summer

and really

go for this.”

Conor Murray has been

selected for the Lions

for the third time

Tadhg Beirne in action

against Harlequins in

December

MUNSTER v CONNACHT | 14.05.21 | THOMOND PARK

37


STAND UP

AND FIGHT

38 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


MUNSTER RUGBY

SUMMER CAMPS 2021

Registration is now open for the Bank of Ireland Munster Rugby

Summer Camps, taking place in 22 venues throughout the province.

Summer Camps will be offered on a modified

basis and there will be changes to the rugby

activities offered as necessary in accordance with

Government and HSE guidelines at the time of the

camp.

Our key focus however remains to provide a safe

and fun environment for children and coaches

alike.

VENUES & DATES

Week 1: Mon 5-Fri 9 Jul:

Bandon RFC, Ennis RFC, Garryowen

FC

Week 2: Mon 12-Fri 16 Jul:

Highfield RFC, Tralee RFC

Week 3: Mon 19-Fri 23 Jul:

Castleisland RFC, Dungarvan RFC,

Midleton RFC

Week 4: Mon 26-Fri 30 Jul:

Clanwilliam FC, Cobh Pirates RFC,

Killarney RFC

Week 5: Mon 2-Fri 6 Aug:

Bruff RFC, Kanturk RFC, Kinsale RFC

Week 6: Mon 9-Fri 13 Aug:

Ballincollig RFC, Fermoy RFC, W.I.T.

Carriganore

Week 7: Mon 16-Fri 20 Aug:

Coláiste Stiofáin Naofa, Cork;

Nenagh Ormond RFC

Week 8: Mon 23 Aug- Fri 27 Aug:

Muskerry RFC, Old Crescent RFC,

Skibbereen RFC

A daily Covid-19 Health Declaration form must be

completed for all attendees.

The camps will be managed and run by fully

accredited IRFU Mini Rugby coaches. All Summer

Camp staff have undertaken the National Garda

Vetting process required to comply with the IRFU

policy regarding recruitment and vetting to work

in age-grade rugby.

After booking your child’s place you will be

emailed an Information Pack outlining all relevant

details and procedures for attending your camp,

including Covid-19 protocols.

• Camp places are available for boys and girls

from 6 years old to 12 years old.

• Each camp takes place over one week (Monday

through to Friday inclusive) between 9:30am

and 1pm.

• The cost is €80 per child.

All bookings must be completed online. There

will be no walk-in bookings this year. To book your

preferred venue, you will be asked to register with

Easy Payments Plus to ensure secure payment.

Please click here for more details or click the

button below.

For any more information please

contact camps@munsterrugby.ie

Click here for Terms & Conditions

• Each participant will receive an official

Summer Camp Pack comprising an adidas

Summer Camp T-Shirt, draw-string bag and

mouth guard.

MUNSTER v CONNACHT ULSTER | 07.05.21 | 14.05.21 | THOMOND | PARK PARK

39


40 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


GET INVOLVED

FOLLOW

ALL THE

ACTION

@PRO14Official

@PRO14Official

@PRO14Official

@PRO14Rugby

@PRO14Rugby

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MUNSTER v CONNACHT | 14.05.21 | THOMOND PARK

41


42 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE

1


SCANNELL

RORY

Age: 27

Born: Cork

Position: Centre

Season appearances: 17

Tries: 2

Passes: 75

Metres: 239

Tackles: 75

Try assists: 3

Bagging two tries in Munster’s 38-10 win over Ulster last weekend, and setting up Andrew

Conway’s try, it was a good night for Corkman Rory Scannell. He has made 17 appearances in

red this season and is just six matches away from reaching the 150 appearances milestone. Rory

has worked his way up through the ranks, in a career that started in the Munster sub-Academy

before being promoted to the Academy ahead of the 2013/14 season. He made his Munster senior

debut in August 2013 against London Irish. The former Young Player and Academy Player of the

Year won his first Irish senior cap against USA on the 2017 Summer tour. He became the youngest

Munster player to reach 100 Munster appearances at the age of just 25 when starting the March

2019 clash away to Scarlets.

MUNSTER v CONNACHT | 14.05.21 | THOMOND PARK

43


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44 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


FIXTURES & RESULTS 2020/21

Date Fixture Venue

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 Thomond Park

Sun 1 Nov Dragons 16 - 28 Munster Rodney Parade

Sun 15 Nov Munster 38-22 Ospreys Thomond Park

Mon 23 Nov Glasgow Warriors 13-27 Munster Scotstoun Stadium

Mon 30 Nov Munster 52-3 Zebre Rugby Club Thomond Park

Sun 13 Dec Munster 21-7 Harlequins Thomond Park

Sat 19 Dec Clermont Auvergne 31-39 Munster Parc des Sports Marcel Michelin

Sat 02 Jan Ulster 15-10 Munster Kingspan Stadium

Sat 09 Jan Connacht 10-16 Munster The Sportsground

Sat 23 Jan Munster 10-13 Leinster Thomond Park

Sat 30 Jan Benetton Rugby 16-18 Munster Stadio Comunale Monigo

Sat 20 Feb Edinburgh 10-22 Munster Murrayfield Stadium

Fri 26 Feb Cardiff Blues 11-20 Munster Cardiff Arms Park

Fri 5 Mar Munster 20-17 Connacht Thomond Park

Fri 12 Mar Munster 28-10 Scarlets Thomond Park

Fri 19 Mar Munster 31-17 Benetton Rugby Thomond Park

Sat 27 Mar Leinster 16-6 Munster The RDS

Sat 3 Apr Munster 33-40 Stade Toulousain Thomond Park

Sat 24 Apr Leinster 3-27 Munster The RDS

Fri 7 May Munster 38-10 Ulster Thomond Park

Fri 14 Mar | 6pm Munster v Connacht Thomond Park

Fri 28 May | 7.35pm Munster v Cardiff Blues Thomond Park

Fri 11 Jun | 6pm (Irish Time) Zebre v Munster Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi

JJ Hanrahan is congratulated

by his team mates after

scoring a try against Ulster

last weekend

MUNSTER v CONNACHT | 14.05.21 | THOMOND PARK

45


46 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


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MEMBERSHIP

START ENJOYING EXCLUSIVE

MEMBER BENEFITS

SIGN UP NOW AT

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