ODriscoll excited about facing Munster possibly for the final time

first_imgBRIAN O’DRISCOLL AND the majority of his Six Nations winning teammates have been cleared to face Munster at the sold out Aviva Stadium on Saturday.Forwards coach Jono Gibbes says loose-head prop Jack McGrath is the only injury worry from the 15 Leinster players that took part in Ireland’s 22-20 win over France in Paris. Gibbes remarked that head coach Matt O’Connor will only ‘pull the pin’ on his team selection after putting his team through their final, full training session.“A few guys are a little bit banged up,” said Gibbes. “It was a pretty physical game against France. Jack McGrath took a bit of a knock late in the game. Dev [Toner] has played a lot of football, Jamie [Heaslip] played five 80-minute games.“It’s a two-pronged approach. We know what we got next week [Toulon in the Heineken Cup] and we know what’s required if you are going to play Munster. We need to make sure everyone is fully fit before they enter the field on Saturday.”Gibbes added, “You also take into consideration some of the guys who have worked through the Six Nations, rewarding them a little bit, mixing their effort, integrating internationals back, bit of injury and managing guys. It’s all a bit of a mixed up equation.”The New Zealander says Leinster’s management trusts the club’s medical staff to ensure the fitness and freshness of the senior players. “Some of those [playing] decisions aren’t made by the coach and some are in collaboration with the trainer, the coach, sometimes the player. We’ve got a good, happy squad. Some have worked really hard, some have been under the wheels for a while at international level. We just have to put it all back together really.” Gordon D’Arcy is brewing another beard. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHOO’Driscoll, who received the Freedom of Dublin on Saturday, and scrum-half Eoin Reddan were the first two Leinster players onto the training ground. Saturday’s match against Munster could be his final meeting with Leinster’s old rivals but there is still a chance both sides could face off in a Heineken Cup semi-final or the RaboDirect Pro12 knock-out stages.Gibbes said, “With Drico, he has had a couple of weeks in the spotlight, which doesn’t naturally sit well with him. He’s enjoyed coming back in here, putting his head down, preparing for this game, getting right, looking at images of Munster, getting excited about playing those guys.“He just gets on with it, puts his head down. The song and dance that has happened for a couple of weeks now, he just wants to get back to work.”Jonny Wilkinson set to retire but he has plans to beat Leinster firstNigel Owens will referee Munster’s Heineken Cup quarter-final against Toulouselast_img read more

Noonan online tool will unlock €2 billion in funding for small business

first_imgTHE GOVERNMENT HAS taken the wraps off a new tool to help small business owners find out what financial supports are available to themThe tool is being launched by Finance Minister Michael Noonan in Limerick this morning.It covers a total of 80 government supports for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), with a total budget of around €2 billion between them.The tool is going live today, having been announced in Budget 2014 last year. It will be available at the localenterprise.ie website.It follows criticism from several small and medium enterprise industry groups over the structure and organisation of government support schemes for SMEs.In particular, the Employment and Investment Incentive Scheme and the Microfinance Ireland funding package have attracted the ire of organisations like ISME and the Small Firms Association.Read: EIIS is restrictive, badly marketed and poorly explainedRead: Why isn’t the Microfinance Ireland scheme working?At the launch this morning, Noonan said that the tool is a “vital” part of an information campaign o increase the level of information available to SMEs.He said: “Over the past number of months we have collaborated with over 100 small businesses on this project and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.”There are some 188,600 SMEs in Ireland, but 98 per cent of owners surveyed had little awareness of public supports available to them.The website was developed by Irish company pTools.Noonan says SME debt is being ‘sorted out’>‘SSIA for SMEs’ could unlock €90 billion funding pot>last_img read more