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McGahan salutes young guns

Guinness PRO12 Editor

8 Mar 2011

Munster head coach Tony McGahan has paid tribute to his up and coming stars.

Veterans Mick O'Driscoll, Doug Howlett and Alan Quinlan may have been among the try-scorers for the red army as they cruised to a bonus-point win over Newport Gwent Dragons Dragons on Saturday night, but rookies like scrum-half Conor Murray and wing Simon Zebo who received the plaudits.

"Conor has trained with us a lot over the last 18 months and I thought he came out and controlled things around the ruck with his passing, kicked well and defended very strongly," said McGahan.

"He can certainly be pleased with his efforts.

"You need to give these players some games together instead of one in and one out, and Simon has also taken his opportunities really well.

"The last four weeks have been a steep learning curve for him, but he's certainly taken everything in his stride."

Several other young guns impressed in the youthful looking side including fly-half Declan Cusack, lock Ian Nagle, who continues to look the real deal in the second row and prop Stephen Archer.

And Munster captain and Man-of-the-Match Mick O'Driscoll has echoed McGahan's sentiments.

"These guys are the future," added O'Driscoll.

"We've got some young guys that have been blooded  over the last couple of weeks, which is brilliant for us going forward.

"People have been talking about us being an ageing squad for the last seven or eight years, but that doesn't matter to us.

"You see the quality coming through at the moment and hopefully people will now start to realise that players are coming through to replace the players that are leaving."