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Peter O’Mahony and Mike Haley winning fitness battles ahead of Munster’s weekend trip to Leinster

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Peter O’Mahony’s leadership will be crucial for Munster. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Peter O’Mahony’s leadership will be crucial for Munster. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Peter O’Mahony’s leadership will be crucial for Munster. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Johann van Graan is upbeat about the prospect of both full-back Mike Haley and captain Peter O’Mahony being available as Munster seek to confirm a URC home quarter-final against a Leinster side who are likely to line out with an under-strength squad in Saturday’s Aviva clash.

However, Simon Zebo and Damian De Allende are ruled out.

Haley was removed from the game against Toulouse earlier this month after failing a HIA and is progressing through the return to play protocols. His availability will be determined later in the week.

O’Mahony was removed from the game against Toulouse with a persistent stinger and will be managed through the week.

Zebo is being managed for a chest/rib injury while De Allende is being treated for a chest injury and both will be unavailable for selection this week.

Gavin Coombes (ankle), Chris Cloete (head) and Jack O’Sullivan (knee) will all return to training this week and will come into the mix as Munster seek to stave off a posse of South African sides also chasing home advantage for the knock-outs.

Neil Cronin sustained an ankle injury in training last week and will go for a scan today.

Continuing to rehab: John Hodnett (knee), Dave Kilcoyne (neck), Tadhg Beirne (thigh), RG Snyman (knee).

Munster are second in the table on 56 points and have already secured a place in the quarter-finals.

Just three points separate second-placed Munster (56 points) and sixth-placed Vodacom Bulls (53 points) with Cell C Sharks and DHL Stormers (56 each) only behind Munster on points difference and Ulster (55) a point further back in fifth place.

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The top four teams at the end of 18 rounds will have home advantage in the quarter-finals.

Leaders Leinster are six points ahead of Munster and have top spot wrapped up with five teams battling it out for the remaining three top four places that would secure a home quarter-final.

Friday night will see Ulster host Cell C Sharks (7.35pm) with the Vodacom Bulls away to Ospreys (8.10pm).

DHL Stormers are away to Scarlets on Saturday evening (5.10pm) with Munster away to Leinster in the final game of the round (7.15pm).

Ospreys and Scarlets have plenty to play for as they bid to top the Welsh shield and earn a place in next season’s Champions Cup. The sides are tied at 44 points apiece heading into the final round.


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