Munster's Ronan to miss out
MUNSTER back-row Niall Ronan has been ruled out of Saturday's crucial Heineken Cup tie against Northampton Saints with a knee ligament injury .
Munster medics will face an anxious wait as they hope to confirm that Ronan's injury is not even more serious.
Ronan has shot to prominence this season but after shaking off a knee injury before last Saturday's tie against Castres, he failed to last 10 minutes after picking up another, unconnected injury.
"Ronan had a scan that showed he's suffered ligament damage to his left knee but he will have to have further examination before the full extent of the injury can be ascertained," said a Munster spokesperson last night.
As they have done with all their other major injury setbacks this season -- notably Keith Earls, Jerry Flannery, Doug Howlett, Wallace and Felix Jones -- Munster will need to adjust as they seek the win in Milton Keynes that would guarantee a home quarter-final.
The IRFU will also be more than keen on this weekend's results as they anticipate a financial boost of €1.5m as the already qualified Munster and Leinster could also be joined by Ulster in the last eight.
Captain Paul O'Connell has highlighted the manner in which the less experienced breed of Munster players have broken through and forced the rest of the group to follow their lead.
"I don't think he (Peter O'Mahony) needs to curb his aggression," he said.
"That's the leadership we want and people are following him."