independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Boost for Munster as Murray fit to face Saracens

Scrum-half to overcome injury and confirm his fitness for must-win European mission

Conor Murray

CONOR MURRAY will be fit to take his place in the Munster starting team against Saracens on Saturday.

Murray missed the win over Glasgow Warriors last weekend after suffering a recurrence of a knee injury sustained last season. He has described it as no more than a "niggle" and immediately allayed any fears he might be a doubt for the Saracens game.

"It's only a small thing," he said. "It stemmed from the game against France last season. I suffered a little bit of a tear in that Six Nations game and because of the amount of games I've been playing, it aggravated that injury.

"The week off did it the world of good. I feel relaxed now and I just came through my first pitch session and it feels fine."

Murray will be immediately returned to the starting line-up to partner Ronan O'Gara at half-back in a match Munster must win if they are to hold out hope of qualifying from their pool.

However, CJ Stander will not be added to Munster's Heineken Cup squad as the South African has suffered a broken bone in his right hand.

The back-row forward lit up Thomond Park last Saturday night with a superb try against Glasgow but has since been ruled out until early in 2013.

Meanwhile, there's no sign of Paul O'Connell making another miracle return to the starting line-up as he did earlier this season for the Racing Metro and Edinburgh games.

The talismanic second-row did not take part in the pitch session at UL yesterday, although he was working indoors. In his likely absence, the second-row will see Donncha O'Callaghan paired alongside Donnacha Ryan.

Team captain Doug Howlett let it slip that Dave O'Callaghan will then come into the back-row at blindside flanker for what will be just his second European appearance.

Peter O'Mahony will switch to openside with the returning James Coughlan anchoring the scrum at the base.

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