Ireland internationals return as Munster try to build up after Cardiff defeat

MUNSTER will be boosted by the return of some members of their Irish international squad for a Sunday visit to the Dragons in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Graham Rowntree’s side will be looking to recover from their opening round defeat away to Cardiff, and the availability of front lines is welcome.

Keith Earls, Joey Carbery, Conor Murray, Craig Casey, Jeremy Logman, Tudge Byrne and Captain Peter O’Mahony are all available to pick up again after touring New Zealand over the summer, though it remains to be seen how many Rowntree calls are. on me.

Monster will certainly be without the 10 players included in Ireland’s fledgling squad that heads to South Africa on Sunday.

Thomas Ahern, Diarmuid Barron, Jack Crowley, Shane Daly, Antoine Frisch, John Hodnett, Alex Kendellen, Calvin Nash, Roman Salanoa and Josh Wycherley were all included in that round, leaving Monster without a significant portion of their squad.

All those 10 players featured against Cardiff last weekend as Monster lost 20-13.

With Salanoa so far away, a return to full training for expert head player Stephen Archer is just in time, while Monster will also be hoping three back-to-back Simon Zeppo and Mike Haley will be properly passed to take on the Dragon.

Rory Scannell is suspected after suffering a facial injury during the warm-up before the Cardiff game, while Gavin Coombs [groin]Andrew Conway [knee]R.G. Snyman [knee]and Jack Daly [knee] Everyone is still on the sidelines.

Joey Carbery in Monster training today.

Source: Ben Brady / INPHO

Whatever way the selection goes this weekend, Rowntree and his coaching staff will be looking for a much-improved performance after a blunder and stutter on their first outing of the season.

“As a group we understand that there are areas individually that we all need to work on and polish,” said Munster attacking coach Andy Kiriakou today.

“That will come the more we play together. We will put our dates together and get a feel for what the players are going to do as well, and how we can support that. That will definitely add to more accuracy around our passes.

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“In terms of the team, it’s going to take a while to put these things to bed, and the great thing about it is that we have a nice long week to get some of these things right, work on them, keep improving, so the performance continues to improve into the weekend.”

Kiriakou said it was “very interesting” that Monster exited Cardiff with a losing bonus point when he could have gotten away with it, while insisting there were other positives this past weekend.

Endeavor, intent with some of our blocks, some passes on our side of the ball, the scoring zone attack was excellent in terms of catch-and-go elements. The line works really well.

“Look, we were happy in terms of certain aspects of it and the pieces that we need to improve that we have already taken up and discussed. We are in a good position and looking forward to moving forward.”