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Monday 5 December 2016

Munster Preview: Donncha O'Callaghan last of golden era to leave

Anthony Foley
Anthony Foley

The decision of Donncha O'Callaghan to cut his ties with Munster will be felt all around Irish Independent Park tomorrow (7.45, TG4).

The second row is the last of their golden generation to depart.

He leaves as a man who wrung every last drop of sweat from his body in the name of his province.

In one way, the 36 year-old represents everything that made Munster great in that his hard work and dedication overcame any shortfall in talent.

His legacy will be that of a two-time Heineken Cup medal winner and Munster's record-making cap-holder on 241.

Coach Anthony Foley will waste no time in moving on. It is the nature of the beast and of the business.

New-look Munster will be after a bright start against the Italians, who have not won outside their country for over two years.

The fact they reached the PRO12 final last season, losing out to Gregor Townsend's Glasgow, gives Munster a clear and obvious target. They badly want silverware.

The Reds have won their last nine home games in the League since Ospreys were victorious in Limerick last September.

At this venue, it gets even better. They have not been defeated since Cardiff Blues turned over the apple-cart in January 2013.

There is little to recommend a Treviso turnaround because they have lost all seven matches they have played away to Munster.

Verdict: Munster

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