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Published: 16:46 | 12/4/16

Lam wary of 'desperate' Munster

Irish rivals meet in crucial clash on Saturday

Connacht coach Pat Lam is concerned by the threat that Munster will pose to Connacht at the Galway Sportsgrounds.

The two Irish provinces meet in an important Pro12 clash on Saturday night, with Lam's men second in the table, while Munster face an uphill task to qualify for the playoffs.

Anthony Foley's troops sit sixth, in serious danger of finishing outside of the top-half spots that are reserved for Champions Cup qualification.

Despite Munster's struggles, Lam knows that his side will be up against extremely strong opposition on the west coast.

“They’ve some quality players, guys with a lot of Test-match and big-game experience," the Auckland-born coach was quoted as saying by RTE. "We’re aware of that.

“We know that they’re desperate. We also know that they come out physical.

“We’ve got to ask questions and get up and exert our physical presence and our structures, and channel that into the way we do things.

“It’s going to be a great game.”

Lam will have to do without back Danie Poolman, who has been ruled out after sustaining a leg injury in Connacht's 33-32 Challenge Cup quarter-final defeat to Grenoble.

On the positive side for Lam and his coaching staff, centre Rory Parata has recovered from a knee problem, while Jack Carty has shaken off the effects of a ruptured spleen, and both are available for selection ahead of the weekend's showdown.

Tiernan O’Halloran (quad) and AJ MacGinty (shoulder) are close to respective returns but will not make the Munster clash.

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