Munster exodus grows as Howlett returns home

Simon Lewis The Munster exit door kept revolving yesterday as exciting young fly-half Bill Johnston left for Ulster in search of more game time and Heineken Cup-winning legend Doug Howlett decided to return to his native New Zealand.

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'It has been an extraordinary 11 years living in Ireland': Doug Howlett to leave Munster role

The province's Head of Commercial and Marketing wishes to return to his native New Zealand, 11 years after joining Munster as a player.

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Munster out-half Bill Johnston switches to Ulster

The 22-year-old playmaker played seven times for Munster this season, including four starts, and kicked 29 points.

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Van Graan admits testing summer lies ahead

Johann van Graan admits Munster will find it difficult to build momentum for next season while having to bed in possibly three new coaches.

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Munster people are sick of looking at blue jerseys in finals

The frustration Leinster players and coaches felt after last weekend was absolute. That stuff is hard to internalise. You can’t have enough of those stars on your shirt.

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Carbery: I’ve loved Munster from the word go

Listening to Joey Carbery talk of Munster’s limitless potential would cheer even the most pessimistic member of its Red Army of supporters, never mind the joy to be derived from the former Leinster fly-half’s love of life at his new province.

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O’Mahony plays down distraction talk

Peter O’Mahony is certain not only that Munster are going to need their best performance of the season on Saturday but also that the current turmoil behind the scenes will have no bearing on what his team produces in the Guinness PRO14 semi-final at Leinster.

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Cullen entitled to fire shots of his own

There will be a strange dynamic surrounding Saturday’s Guinness PRO14 semi-final between Leinster and Munster at the RDS. It’s been a difficult ten days for both Irish provinces but for different reasons.

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Carbery and Earls set to face Leinster

Munster and Ireland backs Joey Carbery and Keith Earls look set to return from injury to face Leinster in Saturday’s Guinness PRO14 semi-final following a positive fitness update from Johann van Graan.

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Van Graan: I just want people in here who want to serve Munster

Johann van Graan has urged Munster supporters to look at the positives of a playing squad in it for the long haul despite the “strange” situation of two key coaches deciding to quit.

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Leaders must stand tall as Munster build again

In times of turmoil, and there has been plenty of that at Munster in recent seasons, the onus falls on the playing squad’s leadership group to pull the province through troubled waters, and it will be no different this time as the unexpected search for new coaches begins.

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Munster rocked by Flannery and Jones exits

It is only a month ago that Munster Rugby was looking forward to a new era of stability, brought about by a settled coaching ticket.

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Flannery and Jones to leave Munster after declining contract offers

Munster Rugby and the IRFU have confirmed that Jerry Flannery and Felix Jones will leave at the end of the season.

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Munster ban supporter who confronted Billy Vunipola

Munster Rugby have banned the supporter who appeared to confront Saracens player Billy Vunipola after the Heineken Champions Cup semi-final at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena.

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Munster confirm four more players to leave at the end of the season

Scrum-half Williams, hooker Sherry and back-rower O’Callaghan were each homegrown talents who served Munster for their entire playing careers

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Munster fan who confronted Vunipola banned from attending home games

The Munster supporter who confronted Billy Vunipola after their loss to Saracens has been banned from attending games at Thomond Park and Musgrave Park.

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Munster rebuilding dented pride, says Ryan

More often than not, it is a pleasurable homecoming that greets John Ryan on his return from a road trip.

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Jean Kleyn: Big gains for Munster come in small margins

Jean Kleyn is convinced Munster can use their European semi-final defeat to Saracens as a springboard to Guinness PRO14 silverware this season.

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Chris Farrell says Munster must be ruthless

No-one will be more pleased by the expected return of Joey Carbery, Keith Earls and Conor Murray to the Munster line-up than fellow Ireland back Chris Farrell but he remains frustrated his team is still to unleash its full potential as an attacking threat.

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Van Graan: Coaching recruits will have attacking emphasis

Johann van Graan has hinted any additions to his coaching team will have an emphasis on bolstering Munster’s attacking threat.

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Munster sweat fitness of three backline stars ahead of play-offs

Johann van Graan said Conor Murray could have played against Connacht on Saturday night but was withdrawn from Munster’s matchday squad as a precaution following a pre-game knock at Thomond Park.

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Johann van Graan confident Munster have ‘flicked switch’

Munster’s acceptance they were outgunned by Saracens last weekend was an admission of the gulf in class between Johann van Graan’s side and Europe’s elite. But the province is still intent on ruling the roost closer to home.

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Munster milestones come quicker since Lenihan bowed out

What Munster Rugby’s latest Hall of Fame inductee would have given to have played more than 100 times for his province.

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There’s more in Munster than we are seeing on game day

If you are a Munster rugby supporter looking for upsides from the Heineken Cup semi-final loss to Saracens, you’ll be searching for a bit. Here’s a morsel: In terms of their PRO14 chances, the players would have been able to put last Saturday in Coventry to bed pretty rapidly on Monday morning and move on.

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Sammy Arnold wary of Connacht challenge as Munster eye top spot

Sammy Arnold is wary of a Connacht team with nothing to lose at Thomond Park tomorrow night as Munster bid to rebound from their European semi-final defeat to Saracens.

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I’ll always be a Red, pledges Peter O’Mahony

Munster captain Peter O’Mahony collected his province’s player of the year award for the first time and pledged “this will always by my club”.

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Chris Cloete: ‘I don’t think it’s easy to get over a loss like that’

Chris Cloete has stressed the importance of staying positive this week as Munster prepare for a final push for silverware this season in the Guinness PRO14.

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If the playing personnel isn’t going to change at Munster, the game plan must

We’ve been down this road before, on seven different occasions now since Paul O’Connell, in tandem with Ronan O’Gara, lifted the Heineken Cup aloft in Cardiff 11 years ago after Munster beat the tournament’s greatest side to that point in a memorable 16-13 win over Toulouse.

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Van Graan working on plan to join Euro elite

Simon Lewis There is only so much credit you can give the winning team before turning the page and focusing on becoming the better team yourself.

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Injured Reds trio will not play unless ‘100% fit’

Munster will not rush back injured trio Joey Carbery, Keith Earls and Dave Kilcoyne for Saturday’s Guinness PRO14 clash at home to Connacht unless they are 100% fit, coach Johann van Graan has insisted.

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Johann van Graan looks ahead to Connacht clash as Taute confirms Leicester move

Munster boss Johann van Graan insists he is committed to improving his existing squad as the province bids to win silverware for the first time in eight years but that will be without South Africa centre Jaco Taute, who was unveiled today by Leicester Tigers as a new signing for next season.

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Beirne: I genuinely thought we came here to win

Tadhg Beirne may be a new signing for Munster this season but he shared the pain of consecutive semi-final defeats in Coventry at the weekend.

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Van Graan envisages no summer reinforcements for Munster

Johann van Graan does not see Munster signing new players for next season but insists that keeping the existing squad together for the long haul will reap rewards.

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Munster to probe pitch invader incident

Simon Lewis Munster Rugby has pledged to further investigate an incident at the end of their Champions Cup semi-final at the Ricoh Arena when a supporter appeared to confront Saracens player Billy Vunipola on the field.

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Man-of-the-match Vunipola helps Saracens to final following Munster mauling

Saracens continued their recent dominance of Munster as they subjected the Irish province to another mauling and consigned the Reds to a third straight European semi-final defeat.

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Jones set to extend Munster role

Felix Jones looks set to extend his stay as Munster backline and attack coach beyond this season and fulfil Johann van Graan’s wish for continuity on his coaching ticket.

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Munster must hit the ground running to stun Saracens’ star power

Ever get that feeling that the stars are aligning for some special purpose?

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Change that Munster can believe in

Edinburgh Airport, Saturday evening, March 30. As the Munster squad and supporters prepare to fly home after a tense quarter-final victory at Murrayfield, there are numerous emotions on display.

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Johaan van Graan backs Sweetnam to fill void

Johann van Graan is confident Darren Sweetnam has what it takes to fill the breach left by an injury to Keith Earls ahead of a European semi-final with Saracens that Peter O’Mahony believes will be Munster’s biggest challenge of the last three years.

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Saracens v Munster: How the sides compare

Milestones and long-awaited comebacks feature aplenty in the Saracens team picked by Mark McCall, who makes 10 changes from the side which lost at Bristol Bears last week.

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Van Graan confident Sweetnam can fill in for injured Earls

Johann van Graan is confident Darren Sweetnam has what it takes to fill the breach left by an injury to Keith Earls ahead of a European semi-final with Saracens that Peter O’Mahony believes will be Munster’s biggest challenge of the last three years.

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Paul O'Connell dismisses talk of a return to Munster coaching role

Paul O'Connell has dismissed speculation that he could return to a coaching role with Munster anytime soon.

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Chris Farrell: Munster need different mindset to overcome semi-final woes

Chris Farrell admits Munster's inability to progress beyond the semi-finals has become a concern that will influence their approach to Saturday's Champions Cup clash with Saracens.

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The success of Munster rugby isn't confined to the biggest stages

Bandon RFC picked up an All-Ireland title at U16 level last weekend. Such glory days are becoming a bit of a habit, says club president Dan Murphy.

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Keith Earls ruled out as Munster name team for Saracens clash

Keith Earls has been ruled out of Munster's Heineken Champions Cup semi-final away to Saracens tomorrow.

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A look back at history shows the rivalry with Munster has turned Sarries’ way

Ahead of Saturday's eagerly awaited Heineken Champions Cup semi-final clash between Munster and Saracens we look back at previous titanic clashes between these two old rivals.

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Scannell's journey back to European summit

As an ever-present for Munster in Europe, since the dark days of a losing pool campaign, Rory Scannell is perfectly placed to assess his province’s current ability to compete at the highest level.

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Saracens won’t be fazed by Red Army

Saracens captain Brad Barritt has rejected claims his side will be intimidated by Munster’s travelling army of fans when the teams meet in Saturday’s Champions Cup semi-final in Coventry.

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D’Arcy: Vunipola controversy could work to Munster’s advantage

Gordon D’Arcy feels the controversy swirling around Billy Vunipola will be an exacting test of the culture that exists in the Saracens dressing room — and that Saturday’s European clash with Munster will deliver the results.

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Bleyendaal a real energy-giver and we are lucky to have him, says van Graan

Whether you are a Munster coach or a team-mate, Tyler Bleyendaal ticks plenty of boxes as one of the great readers of the game and those insights could well be vital against Saracens on Saturday.

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Billy Vunipola warned to expect further boos ahead of Saracens v Munster

The Saracens number eight has been formally warned by the RFU and his club over an Instagram post.

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O’Mahony: ‘It’s going to have to be the performance of the year’

The echoes of Munster’s European semi-final defeat to Saracens two years ago may still be ringing in newspaper columns and the minds of supporters but Peter O’Mahony spoke for his squad and management yesterday when he declared his team have long since moved on, and for the better.

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The Irishman plotting Munster’s downfall

The sound of Irishmen baying for blood isn’t going to bother Saracens in the slightest this weekend.

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Joey Carbery still 'highly unlikely' to face Saracens as Munster take it day by day

Tyler Bleyendaal remains on course to start as Munster’s fly-half in this Saturday’s Heineken Champions Cup semi-final against Saracens after Johann van Graan revealed that Joey Carbery remains highly unlikely of playing.

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Saracens in the eye of a storm ahead of Munster showdown

Saracens would have hoped for a quieter week than the one just gone but Maro Itoje, for one, is aiming to block out the outside noise against old foes Munster in the Champions Cup semi-final on Saturday in Coventry.

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Wycherley doubtful for Munster after picking up leg injury in Treviso

Versatile back five player Fineen Wycherley is Munster’s only new injury concern as they start preparing for next weekend’s Heineken Champions Cup semi-final against Saracens.

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Van Graan happy with depth as understrength Munster claim bonus point win in Italy

Munster coach Johann van Graan praised the strength and depth of his squad after they came from behind to oust Benetton Rugby in Treviso on Friday night.

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Van Graan’s ‘puzzle’ as Reds battle on two fronts

Johann van Graan sends a mix-and-match Munster side into Stadio Monigo tonight with one eye firmly on next weekend’s European semi-final with Saracens.

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Munster make 11 changes as Van Graan rotates squad

Three Academy players are included in the squad.

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Munster winger Ronan O’Mahony forced to retire on medical grounds

The winger broke his leg and dislocated his ankle in a 2017 game against Treviso and has been advised to retire from professional rugby.

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