Australian says some of criticism directed at team this year has been unjustified

Munster welcome back Keith Earls for his first start of the season, after two appearances off the bench. Photograph: James Crombie/ Inpho

After inconsistent campaign, the province need to revive the Thomond Park factor

Matt O’Connor’s men have run into form and can repel Wasps outfit reborn at Ricoh Arena

Leinster’s Sean Cronin in action last Saturday. The province seems to have more access to private backing than its Irish counterparts. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho.

Gerry Thornley: It could be the first season in 17 with no Irish team in the knock-out stages

Robbie Henshaw played on impressively after injuring his ankle in Connacht’s defeat to the Exeter Chiefs.  Photograph: INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Manner of defeats a worry as Henshaw and Jackson injuries add to Schmidt’s concerns

Munster’s Paul O’Connell, Simon Zebo and Ronan O’Mahony after the Pool 1 Champions Cup loss to Saracens at Allianz Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho.

Munster struggle to come to terms with scale of Champions Cup defeat

 Munster head coach Anthony Foley after the 33-10 Champions Cup defeat to Saracens at Allianz Park.  Photograph: Dan Sheridan / Inpho

‘I am sure if you look at it you will see a lot of big errors before they score and that was frustrating’

Former Springbok prop BJ Botha learned some hard scrummaging lessons early in his career from players like Anton Oliver and Carl Hoeft. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

South African is desperate to win some silverware after seven seasons in Ireland

Munster’s Tommy O’Donnell is tackled by Jim Hamilton and Brad Barritt of Saracens at Thomond Park last October.  Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho.

Odds staked against Irish provinces and Anthony Foley’s men meet a formidable Saracens

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