Thousands of tickets are still on sale for tomorrow’s Munster-Leinster derby despite expected performances from most of the Irish frontliners on both sides.
The game has been postponed twice after being canceled ahead of Christmas due to a Covid-19 outbreak at the Leinster camp.
It was supposed to take place in May but a collision with the Ed Sheeran concert at Thomond Park meant they had to change the calendar again five weeks ago.
Barring a late rush for tickets after the teams have been named this midday, there will be plenty of gaps at the 27,000-seat Limerick venue, which will play the second leg of the last 16 against Exeter in two weeks’ time.
Ahead of the knockout stages in Europe, both Johann van Graan and Leo Cullen are expected to name strong sides full of international talent for the game.
Despite Ben Healy’s fine form, Joey Carbery looks poised to start for Munster, with Conor Murray back at scrum halftime and Dave Kilcoyne and Peter O’Mahony joining a pack that has Jason Jenkins tied to Leinster is, could contain.
Cullen needs to reintegrate a large number of internationals as they had a weekend off after the Six Nations and could put Johnny Sexton in action ahead of next week’s first leg against Connacht.
With a trip to South Africa following those knockout ties looming, the Leinster boss will be in charge of his squad in the coming weeks, but he is keen to start the European games with a win.
Van Graan believes Munster must deliver a quality performance.
“We know we have to do our best to beat them and they are currently leaders in the URC so it’s a very good challenge for us to play them at Thomond Park,” he said.
https://www.independent.ie/sport/rugby/pro14/international-star-back-for-leinster-and-munster-but-thomond-not-sold-out-for-derby-41509245.html International star back for Leinster and Munster but Thomond isn’t sold out for the derby