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What time, what channel, team news and all you need to know about Leinster v Munster clash

Leo Cullen and Johann van Graan. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Leo Cullen and Johann van Graan. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Tony Considine

Leinster welcome Munster for a big provincial derby clash in the United Rugby Championship this weekend. Here’s all you need to know about the game.

Where and when is it on?

Saturday’s match takes place at the Aviva Stadium with a 7.15pm kick-off.

What’s the team news?

With a Champions Cup final against La Rochelle around the corner on May 28th for Leinster and top spot in the URC table already guaranteed, Leo Cullen is expected to ring the changes for Saturday's final regular season URC game.

Tadhg Furlong (ankle) and James Lowe (shin) picked up injuries against the Toulouse last weekend and neither player will feature against Munster.

Rónan Kelleher was removed for a Head Injury Assessment in the second half against Toulouse and is following the return to play protocols this week.

In more positive news, Jordan Larmour has returned to full training this week.

Retiring and departing players, led by record caps holder Devin Toner, are likely to be given an opportunity to bid farewell to their fans.

There are no further updates on Tommy O’Brien (knee), Nick McCarthy (shoulder), James Tracy (neck), Dave Kearney (hamstring) and Will Connors (knee).

Munster captain Peter O’Mahony trained in Limerick during the week, but wasn’t involved in contact, and while Gavin Coombes also returned following an ankle injury, Johann van Graan will not rush the No 8 back too soon.

Van Graan also revealed that Tadhg Beirne has “turned the corner” with regard to his troublesome thigh injury. The Munster boss is “confident” that the Ireland lock will feature before the end of the season.

Where can I watch the game?

The match will be shown live on TG4 and & Premier Sports 2. The game is also being streamed live on the TG4 Player and Premier Sports Player.

What can I read about and listen to in the build-up on Independent.ie?

'Were it not for injury to John Hodnett and Gavin Coombes, Munster’s final Champions Cup match-day squad of this season would have featured a majority of forwards under the age of 25.'

David Kelly has spoken to Munster's 'sky-scraping giant', Thomas Ahern.

'Hugo Keenan has never attended a Heineken Champions Cup final, let alone played in one.'

And Cian Tracey has been talking to Leinster's Hugo Keenan about the upcoming bid for a fifth European Champions Cup.

On this week's episode of The Left Wing, Will Slattery and Luke Fitzgerald are joined by Cian Tracey to look back on the Champions Cup semi-final weekend.

Leinster are into the final for the first time since 2019 after their very impressive demolition of Toulouse - and Ronan O'Gara is waiting for them after his La Rochelle side saw off Racing 92.

For more Left Wing episodes, visit the show page at: www.independent.ie/sport/rugby/the-left-wing/

What are the match odds?

Munster are favourites at 2/5 with Leinster 2/1 and the draw priced at 17/1.

What are the coaches saying?

Leo Cullen:

“We want to put on a big performance here next week. There are different layers in the group. You have guys like Johnny (Sexton) who has experienced lots of positive memories and a few tricky ones along the way, as we all have, and then there is a younger group that is striving for success for the first time.

“We’ll have some players that are desperate to put their hand up, that’s what we want to see from them.

“So that’s the thing that’s probably occupying most of my thoughts at the moment, is getting ready for a (Munster) team that we know are very ambitious to be very successful as well..”

Johann van Graan:

“It’s the last round of the league. Every game we play to win. We have to go up to Dublin and put in a performance and be good enough to get a win.

“In terms of being guaranteed a home quarter-final, if we win the game, we’ll have a home quarter-final. That’s the only focus for us, in terms of four tries and in terms of losing bonus points, that’s not in our thinking.


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