Friday 30 September 2016

Tricky away date for Rassie's boys

Declan Rooney

Published 02/09/2016 | 02:30

Rhys Patchell recently signed for Parc Y Scarlets Photo: PA News
Rhys Patchell recently signed for Parc Y Scarlets Photo: PA News

Munster will have to buck a five-year trend if they are to get their Pro12 season off to a winning start at Parc Y Scarlets tomorrow.

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Of the last five meetings between the sides in the Welsh town, Munster have lost three and drawn two more, while last year's game was decided by a late penalty from Steven Shingler as a third draw looked on the cards.

Munster's last league win in Llanelli came back in 2010-'11 on a scoreline of 13-6 - a 21-year-old Simon Zebo scored the all important try - and the province have only registered five wins at the venue since the advent of the Pro12 14 years ago.

It's four years since Munster have faced an away game first up in the Pro12 - a 23-18 win over Edinburgh - and back in the second season of the league they faced a Llanelli side at their old home of Stradey Park in week one, a game the visiting side also won.

When the sides last met, Munster were convincing winners on the last day of last season, a win that guaranteed them a spot in this year's Champions Cup.

Munster ran in five tries in that game, but seven of the 15 starters from that Thomond Park clash have been ruled out of tomorrow's game due to injury and the international player welfare programme.

Since then Scarlets have bolstered their squad with the arrival of Welsh internationals Rhys Patchell and Jonathan Davies, while South African prop Werner Kruger is another new weapon at their disposal.

But Munster are also likely to feature their new South African, Jean Kleyn in the second-row, while tighthead John Andress and academy player Dan Goggin could make their Munster debuts in Wales.

Irish Independent

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