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Friday 20 October 2017

Fortune could favour Flanagan

Mark Flanagan. Pic: Sportsfile
Mark Flanagan. Pic: Sportsfile

Former Leinster lock Mark Flanagan could play a central role in the big games Munster have coming around the corner.

Mullingar man Flanagan has been signed on a short-term, three-month contract to provide cover as a natural lock at 6'7" and 110kilos.

His contract is still held by Mark McCall's Saracens, for whom the 29-year-old played 11 times last season.

The personal experience of Springbok Jaco Taute is an example of how this arrangement could turn into something more long-term, should Flanagan manage to impress in red.

Thumping

First and foremost, the southern province will be determined to repair confidence from the thumping they took in Glasgow when they face up to Cardiff Blues in Limerick this Saturday.

Thereafter, the annual interprovincial derby with Leo Cullen's charges will take place at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday week before the beginning of the Champions Cup.

Munster second row Jean Kleyn's latest neck complication was investigated by a specialist on Tuesday.

It remains to be seen how long this will keep Kleyn out of Rassie Erasmus's plan.

Despite the calm assurances of their Director of Rugby, there has to be serious concern over the South African's longevity in the game.

New signing Gerbrandt Grobler, 25, and Darren O'Shea, 24, enticed home from Worcester Warriors, are not in the picture.

Then, the possibility of looking for emergency service from using loose forwards Dave O'Callaghan and Robin Copeland is far from ideal.

In those circumstances, it would lead to an extra drain on the back row resources.

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