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Dublin: 6 °C Saturday 20 December, 2014

Botha return the one big positive for Munster after Ulster debacle

The South African prop has not played since the loss to Toulon, but should bolster the front row for Friday’s semi-final against Glasgow.

BJ Botha tries to out-pace Gerhard van den Heever in training (file photo).
BJ Botha tries to out-pace Gerhard van den Heever in training (file photo).
Image: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

AFTER THEIR LACKLUSTRE home defeat to a second string Ulster at Thomond Park on Saturday, Munster can at least move into day three of their six-day turnaround with some good news on the injury front.

Away from the long-term absentees of Stephen Archer, Donnacha Ryan and Peter O’Mahony – who are all most likely out until next season – there are no new concerns for Rob Penney’s medical staff, though an Achilles problem looks set to keep Denis Hurley sidelined for a second consecutive week.

Up front, Glasgow will be facing a bolstered Munster pack as BJ Botha will come back into the fold for the first time since the loss to Toulon having been allowed time out of the firing line after his wife gave birth to a baby girl.

“They’ve got a little extension to his family,” a cheerful Penney said prior to a sun-drenched training session at UL today.

“Sidney Rose her name is, but he’ll be all ready for this week now that that challenge is behind them and everything is well.”

The next challenge for the collective is facing down a very in-form Glasgow Warriors side searching for a ninth win on the trot.

“We have to be good,” was Penney’s clipped answer to how Munster would go about winning in Scotstoun. He has seen enough inconsistency in his side to know they are capable of going toe-to-toe with the very best and scrapping with the more ordinary sides too.

“There’s been a degree of inconsistency that’s been disappointing. The guys have genuinely put a good performance on when it’s really desperately required so I’ve just had faith that the guys will front again this week and give it a good go.”

He added: “It’s an extremely important fixture on Friday night, so that takes care of itself. If you can’t get yourself up for a semi-final then you’d probably question why you’re even bothering being in the game.”

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