Heineken Cup: Harlequins v Munster match preview

A look ahead to Sunday's quarter-final clash

Two-time winners Munster will travel to the Twickenham Stoop on Sunday determined to prove a point against the reigning Aviva Premiership champions, having been turned-over in spectacular fashion at Scotstoun against a rampant Glasgow side.

Coming off a 51-24 defeat, and having just scraped into the quarter-finals, the pressure is on Munster to put in yet another spectacular Heineken Cup display that they have become synonymous with over the years.

Harlequins have hit their own rough patch of form, having had three defeats on the bounce against Exeter Chiefs, Saracens and Gloucester, a run that has seen them slump from the top of the table to third, just two points ahead of both Northampton Saints and Gloucester.

Captain Chris Robshaw will return to lead the side out after he was rested for the defeat at Kingsholm, and he is joined by fellow England teammates Mike Brown, Danny Care and Joe Marler. Ugo Monye starts on the wing, with his hopes for a surprise inclusion for the British and Irish Lions still not diminished.

George Lowe will start at outside centre, making his 100th appearance for the club, while Nick Easter will look to continue his good form as of late despite the side suffering a string of losses.

Munster will travel to London with wing Simon Zebo back in their starting line-up, though the influential Doug Howlett will be missing from the other wing as he has been ruled out with a shoulder injury.

Zebo has not played since he injured his foot in the Six Nations clash with England, and the Irishman will be hoping to pick up where he left off with his form before his injury leading many to tip him for a Lions squad place. Howlett injured his shoulder while reaching for the try-line last week in their defeat to Glasgow, but other doubts Conor Murray, Peter O'Mahony and Donnacha Ryan all start.

They will be led out by their talismanic lock Paul O'Connell, who partners Ryan in the second-row. O'Connell is coming back from a serious back injury that saw him miss the entire Six Nations, but he will have set his sights on another historic Heineken Cup run with the four-time finalists, before turning his attentions to another potential Lions tour.

 

Harlequins: Mike Brown; Tom Williams, George Lowe, Tom Casson, Ugo Monye; Nick Evans, Danny Care; Joe Marler, Rob Buchanan, James Johnston; Olly Kohn, George Robson; Maurie Fa'asavalu, Chris Robshaw, Nick Easter.

Replacements: Joe Gray, Mark Lambert, Will Collier, Charlie Matthews, Tom Guest, Karl Dickson, Ben Botica, Matt Hopper.

 

Munster: Felix Jones; Denis Hurley, Casey Laulala, James Downey, Simon Zebo; Ronan O'Gara, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Mike Sherry, BJ Botha; Donnacha Ryan, Paul O'Connell; Peter O'Mahony, Tommy O'Donnell, James Coughlan.

Replacements: Damien Varley, Wian du Preez, Stephen Archer, Donncha O'Callaghan, Paddy Butler, Cathal Sheridan, I Keatley, Ivan Dineen.

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'