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20/21st April 1 year ago......

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    20/21st April 1 year ago......



    3 days to go......"Have you heard the one about the Leinster backs and the Munster forwards? "






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    Pucciarello set to make Euro start for Munster


    20/04/2006


    By Charlie Mulqueen


    FEDERICO PUCCIARELLO, born in Rosario, Argentina, and who has made eight appearances for Italy, is set to make his first start in a Heineken Cup match for Munster in Sunday's semi-final against Leinster at Lansdowne Road.


    Coach Declan Kidney yesterday conceded that "Marcus Horan is struggling but we're going to give him every chance. We'll make the decision when we have to, we don't have to do that for another 48 hours. Marcus and physiotherapist Kirsty Peacock have been working really hard on the calf so, in fairness, we'll give him every chance. But he is struggling."


    Horan would be a huge loss to Munster. He is a high-class loose head prop in every sense of the word having few superiors around the pitch. He is also a formidable scrummager.


    The disappointment for Horan is all the greater given that he picked up the minor calf tear during a training session shortly after the quarter-final win over Perpignan.


    Pucciarello, aged 31, has become a hugely popular member of the Munster squad since his arrival from Italy last summer and demonstrated in last week's Celtic League tie against Edinburgh that he is in great fettle. He scored the first of Munster's six tries and made a thrilling second half dash that brought the crowd to its feet. The management is quietly confident that he will hold his own against Leinster's former England and London Wasps prop Will Green. Pucciarello stands 5ft 9in, but weighs in at 17st 4lb. He came in as a substitute for Italy in their Six Nations 32-17 defeat by Ireland at Lansdowne Road in 2002 and so will be no stranger to a big match occasion at Sunday's venue.


    Otherwise, the news of Munster's walking wounded could hardly be better. Ronan O'Gara has shrugged off his recent hamstring and knee injuries and trained yesterday. Denis Leamy, who has been troubled by a sprained ankle, and Jeremy Manning, who shipped a heavy knock to the head a fortnight ago against the Welsh Dragons, also took a full part in yesterday's session at Thomond Park.


    Kidney reported that Tomás O'Leary was also involved in most of the action and will be considered for a place in the three-quarter line. The panel of 30 announced yesterday seems excessively large, but this has been done to cover several eventualities. For instance, should Pucciarello move up from the bench, his place will go to either Eugene McGovern or Frank Roche while the inclusion of Christian Cullen, who has recovered from his most recent setback, means that he could also play a role as substitute or even make a surprise appearance on the wing.


    Kidney said "it was a case of permutations as to who turns up fit to go and I'd like to think we haven't included anybody who doesn't have a realistic chance of being in the 22. It depends on how guys go over the next 48 to come up with the best combination. Cully took an active part today."





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    Strictly business as O’Driscoll’s Lions on final hunt


    By Barry Coughlan


    AS Leinster prepare for the Battle of Ireland on Saturday, Brian O’Driscoll has suspended cordial relations with his Triple Crown winning Munster colleagues.



    "I’m sure frie
    Seas suas agus troid!

    #2


    2 days to go......"It's judgement day for everyone."






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    Tickets on eBay traced to supporter.


    RUGBY: The Leinster Branch are seeking legal advice with a view to preventing eBay from selling on two stand tickets at way above their asking price, having traced the tickets to a Leinster supporter. The pair of Lansdowne Road stand tickets, priced at €55 each, are being auctioned for €1,400.


    "We are a conduit of the ERC in that we don't print or price the tickets but we are taking legal advice in conjunction with the IRFU," confirmed Leinster chief executive Mick Dawson yesterday, with a view to submitting a letter to eBay preventing them selling on the tickets at above face value, in explicit contradiction of the terms of sale.



    The Leinster Branch were also able to trace the tickets to a Leinster supporter and made contact with him, and are considering naming him in public. However, the said supporter did not seem too perturbed by the branch's threat not to sell tickets to him ever again.


    All in all, though, Dawson is reasonably satisfied that Leinster's allocation of around 21,500 have ended up in the hands of Leinster supporters. Around 7,000 each, he claims, went to the Leinster Supporters Club/season-ticket holders and the clubs.


    The remainder were divided up between sponsors, corporate packages, players and team management and the branch executive, as well as the 1,100 sold last Friday night prior to the Celtic League game against Leinster, on the premise of "rewarding some of those loyal Leinster fans who support the team in the Celtic League".


    Also on Good Friday, the branch afforded 1,000 supporters who had bought the three-match packages for the Heineken European Cup pool games the opportunity to purchase two tickets apiece.


    "We wanted to reward those who committed to the three pool games at the RDS."


    Furthermore, up to 300 were set aside for former players, "who were surprised and delighted to receive them", said Dawson.


    All Blacks coach Graham Henry has revealed a new strategy for New Zealand's June Tests against Ireland (two) and Argentina that could, in theory, mean the world's number-one-ranked side will not be at full strength against Eddie O'Sullivan's team.


    The selectors will pick 39 players for the opening three Tests on consecutive weekends in Hamilton, Auckland and Buenos Aires. For the two Ireland Tests, 24 players will be available while another 15 will undergo conditioning work, flying to Buenos Aires on June 15th, two days before the second Test. Eleven players from the team that plays Ireland will then follow to Argentina on June 18th.


    Already ruled out of those Tests is the in-form Waikato Chiefs number eight Sione Lauaki, who seems likely to require surgery for a torn pectoral muscle. Lauaki is expected to require three months' recuperation and joins the Highlanders number 10 Nick Evans and lock James Ryan, Hurricanes centre Conrad Smith and Blues loose forwards Angus Macdonald, Justin Collins and Troy Flavell, on the long-term injury list.


    Another in-form player tipped for an All Blacks breakthrough this year, Blues centre Rua Tipoki, has been handed a 16-week suspension for the controversial tackle that left the Western Force's number 10 James Hilgendorf with multiple fractures to an eye socket</TD></TR></T></TABLE>
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    Rugby fans dig deep for semi-final tickets


    By Noel Baker and Jimmy Woulfe


    RUGBY fans are bidding sky high prices online for match tickets for this weekend’s Heineken Cup clash between Munster and Leinster.



    Tickets for
    Seas suas agus troid!

    Comment


      #3
      Youd barely know its 1/4 final weekend this yr......
      Seas suas agus troid!

      Comment


        #4

        Originally posted by LLCOOLJ14
        Youd barely know its@@@@SPAN style="font-weight: bold;"> 1/4 final@@@@/SPAN> weekend this yr......
        maybe that's 'cause it's not.. [img]smileys/wink.gif[/img]


        Comment


          #5


          Originally posted by RobbieG
          Originally posted by LLCOOLJ14
          Youd barely know its@@@@SPAN style="FONT-WEIGHT: bold"> 1/4 final@@@@/SPAN> weekend this yr......
          maybe that's 'cause it's not.. [img]smileys/wink.gif[/img]


          typo's when ur off for a few beers....how bad.......[img]smileys/lol.gif[/img]
          Seas suas agus troid!

          Comment

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