Munster's Irish trio to get early chance for revenge against Parks
Published 24/03/2010 | 05:00
Ronan O'Gara, Donncha O'Callaghan and Tony Buckley will all have the chance to exorcise their Triple Crown demons on their home patch this weekend.
The international trio resumed training in Limerick yesterday and look likely to feature against Dan Parks and the Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park on Friday night.
According to Munster team manager Shaun Payne, the lingering disappointment of defeat against the Scots last weekend is not a concern for Munster management. Rather, a typical Munster backlash is expected.
"I don't see it as a disadvantage at all to be honest," he said. "Not so long ago, finishing second in the Six Nations wouldn't have been that bad a result.
"Obviously the last result in terms of the national team was disappointing. In rugby, the margins are small but I do not think it will affect how the lads come back. If anything it will make them hungrier for success here.
"Results can play both ways," Payne continued. "After winning the Grand Slam and all that, there was such a release of energy that it could have left players feeling a little drained, or it could have affected them positively because there was such a good feeling amongst the players. There are two sides to each argument.
"Irrespective of the results, our international players have always come back busting to play for Munster and have really enjoyed it."
Meanwhile, it seems Munster fans will be spared a repeat of the breakdown bedlam which dominated the recent Six Nations tournament, at least for the foreseeable future.
While confusion still exists, it now seems likely any changes in the existing laws will be deferred until the close season and the Magners League and Heineken Cup will continue on as before in terms of breakdown interpretation.
"There is ongoing discussion between the referees from the southern hemisphere and the northern hemisphere as to what is in place," said Payne.
"As things stand it is a confusing scenario. The official instruction we've had is that there will be no change until the beginning of next season.
"It's ongoing at the minute with discussions and emails but that's the indication that we have."
Payne also called for greater consistency in implementing the existing laws.
"The bottom line is that we need a uniform approach. Hopefully this whole scenario will lead to a bit of direction from the referees because we sorely need it.
"There is no way that two teams can be going into a match with different expectations with how such a vital area of the game is going to be refereed."