Rugby – Two points needed for Champions Cup

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MUNSTER need just two points from this Saturday’s clash with the Scarlets at Thomond Park to secure Champions Cup rugby in 2016/17.
Anything less from the 3pm clash and Munster could open the door for Ospreys who face Ulster at home at the same time.
The opposition, Scarlets, currently in fifth spot, require as many points as possible to give themselves a shot at a Play-Off spot for the first time since season 2012/13.
Scarlets only defeat in their last four fixtures against Munster was at Thomond Park in this equivalent fixture in round 6 last year. The Welshmen’s only previous victory in Limerick was in September 2003.
In team news ahead of the final game of the season, Francis Saili (ribs), Simon Zebo (ankle) and Rory Scannell (dead leg) are expected to take a full part in training later in the week, while Dave O’Callaghan (knee bruising) and Dave Foley (ankle) showed no ill effects following the clash with Edinburgh in Cork last weekend.
Irish international second row Donnacha Ryan continues to be monitored by the medical staff for a concussion he sustained in the Connacht game and will be unavailable for Saturday’s final round game, with his participation in the Summer Tour to South Africa now a doubt.
With the season coming to an end this weekend, Munster have yet to release a list of players who are due to be released this summer. Several players are out of contract at the end of this season, while the futures of coaches Jerry Flannery and Brian Walsh have yet to be resolved.
Munster’s game is live this weekend on S4C, with English commentary available on the red button.

What was said –


What was said. . .

On winning at home –

“That’s what we let slip this year – you have to win your home games for sure. I think Thomond Park has been a fortress and it’s not this year. That’s the thing we need to get back to, making this a fortress and making this our place, make it tough for teams to win here. We don’t want to let it be down to other teams doing you a favour by winning, losing, a bonus point. We want to do it ourselves, because we want to win going forward.  There’s a lot of guys that have done a lot of work for Munster and have put in a lot of hours that need to win stuff and have to win stuff.”


On a must win game –

“We have to win. We know that. Scarlets have to win to catch Ulster. Ospreys have to win to catch us and Ulster have to win their game so within those two games there’s a lot at stake. We’re all very conscious of it but we have to keep an eye on Edinburgh as well, so it’s important that we get our job done and if we get our job done then well, it’s in our hands. Rather than looking around for other people to do you a favour it’s in our control, you fight hard to get stuff in your control and it’s about us going out now and delivering a performance that can win the game.”

On how players leaving have acted –

“There hasn’t been an issue around the group at all, in terms of preparation, in terms of fellas knowing where they are going, coming or going. Everyone has rocked up and pitched in everywhere. We don’t have any issues behind the scenes. I think it’s everyone trying to make sure we win the game next Saturday and finish off with a win here. It’s unfortunate to not go any further in the competition, but you know, you get what you deserve out of the year.”

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