Munster lock Paul O'Connell fit again for Ulster clash

Munster coach Anthony Foley with Paul O'Connell
Munster coach Anthony Foley with Paul O'Connell

Munster coach Anthony Foley is wary of Ulster's home form ahead of Saturday's crucial Pro12 game at Kingspan Stadium.

Ulster have won all ten home games in the competition this season, amassing a total of 44 points.

Munster, who have fit-again Ireland captain Paul O'Connell available for the game, boast the best away record.

"At this stage of the season, there is a big advantage playing at home and they will build momentum against us from the terraces," warned Foley.

Third-placed Ulster are one point behind Munster with two games remaining, and with both provinces already assured of a place in the semi-finals, playing at home in the semi-final is the prize still on offer.

Both sides have only lost once in their last eight games, with Foley convinced that their early exits from the European Champions Cup have enhanced both teams' league prospects.

Paul O'Connell missed the win over Treviso through injury but returns for Munster, who have recorded bonus-point victories in their last three games. However, Foley has been similarly impressed with Ulster.

"They are going well, aren't they?

"In their last couple of games they have shifted up a gear.

"They have had the benefits of the weeks off like we had and it allows you prepare and be diligent around what you are doing."

The Munster coach has welcomed the appointment of Nigel Owens for Saturday's game.

"You've got to have a strong referee up there because it is a hostile environment and Nigel Owens is a strong referee, so there won't be any excuses after the game.

"It's important to understand that the game flows and, when are on top in the game, that we capitalise.

"Having gone up there and rarely won, you do understand the importance that when you do have a good opportunity, you have got to take it."

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