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Irish Independent
Irish Independent
Ruaidhri O'Connor Twitter

Jack Crowley set for chance at out-half as Munster seek to bounce back

Munster's Jack Crowley. Photo by: Sportsfile

Jack Crowley goes north with the No 10 shirt on his back, knowing that 2023 is alive with possibility.

National considerations mean that Joey Carbery is given the day off and that opens the door for his younger rival who made major strides in the second half of the year.

Having lined out at inside centre in recent weeks, this is a chance to put his hand up in his preferred position.

Crowley doesn’t mind where he plays, but having started for Ireland in the win over Australia at out-half he knows that his best chance of further international action comes as the team’s general.

And, impressing at the Kingspan Stadium would be a major fillip to his ambitions.

“I haven’t had much time to reflect. In my own time, I will look back,” he said of the last few months’ rise. 

“At the moment, it is job driven. Reviewing and then previewing, getting back on the horse to try to get that performance on the next weekend. It’s where I want to be. Playing games.

“I didn’t expect any of this really. This is where you want to be and it’s where you want to be playing. But I didn’t expect it to happen so soon.

“So obviously I’m delighted with where I am. But I just want to get a few performances, particularly this weekend which is a big game. Sticking to the plan and looking forward to it.”

Munster have little margin for error after a poor start to the season. Last week’s loss to Leinster leaves them in 11th place in the middle of a large peloton of teams chasing the European and play-off spots.
“Obviously it’s a bumpy roller-coaster. It’s nothing that we didn’t expect,” Crowley said. “We’d be lying if we said it was going to be a fairytale. Obviously we’d love to be winning every game. We don’t want to be where we are now but it’s the reality.

“Yes, every game is a must win but that is the reality for every team. We’re just embracing that and not focusing on anything else other than ourselves going into each game trying to get that performance.”

With Peter O’Mahony, Tadhg Beirne and Carbery rested, this is a big ask against a stacked Ulster side that welcomes Jacob Stockdale back.

A bonus point or two might be the best Munster can hope for.

Verdict: Ulster

ULSTER – S Moore; R Baloucoune, J Hume, S McCloskey, J Stocklade; B Burns, J Cooney; R Sutherland, T Stewart, M Moore; K Treadwell, I Henderson (Capt); G Jones, S Reffell, D Vermeulen. Reps: J Andrew, E O’Sullivan, G Milasanovich, S Carter, J Murphy, N Doak, J Flannery, E McIlroy.

MUNSTER – M Haley; S Daly, A Frisch, M Fekitoa, K Earls; J Crowley, C Casey; D Kilcoyne, N Scannell, R Salanoa; J Kleyn, K McDonald; J O’Donoghue (Capt), A Kendellen, G Coombes. Reps: S Buckley, J Wycherley, S Archer, C Hurley, J O’Sullivan, C Murray, B Healy, P Campbell

REF – A Brace (IRFU)

Ulster v Munster, Live, Tomorrow, TG4/Premier Sports 1, 5.15

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