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28th Nov 2014

Guinness PRO12 is back in town but here’s what you might have missed

It never really went too far away

Patrick McCarry

We know, we know. It is very hard to follow your province and country at the same time

Ireland are third in the world and on a seven-game winning streak but it is time to pack away the green scarf and get behind your province again. There have been two rounds of Guinness PRO12 fixtures in November and we have the ultimate cheat-sheet to get you up to speed.

1. Munster are on a six-game winning run (two in the Champions Cup) and can go top if weekend results go their way

That Aviva Stadium win over Leinster in October has really sparked Anthony Foley’s men. Paddy Butler has done well during the window while South African centre Pat Howard made his debut in the away victory over Dragons.

Paddy Butler scores a try 1/11/2014

2. Connacht gave a debut to their first ever All Blacks star

Mils Muliaina started in the home win over Zebre and teed-up Danie Poolman for the first try of the game. Connacht have five wins and a draw from their opening games and are four points off the top four.

3. Ulster won both of their November games but their injury jinx shows no signs of flipping off

Last year’s beaten semi-finallists are without Ruan Pienaar, Iain Henderson, Andrew Trimble, Paddy Jackson and Luke Marshall for their interpro clash with Munster.

Paddy Jackson goes off with an injury 21/11/2014

4. Leinster coach Matt O’Connor revealed his sporting hero is John McEnroe

You CAN NOT be serious? Bloody oath mate, bloody oath.

5. Three Irish provinces are in the Champions Cup qualifying slots

Connacht are sixth but they would be shunted out to seventh by one of the Italians wheezers if the league were to wrap up right now. Pat Lam’s men would then have to face the Aviva Premiership’s seventh place side (currently Sale Sharks) before facing the Top 14’s seventh best.

A League Table

6. Leinster are still struggling to fire and Luke Fitzgerald’s injury woes continue

The league champions are hoping to have the talented yet unfortunate Fitzgerald available for their Champions Cup double-header with Harlequins. The Blues drew with Treviso last time out despite Darragh Fanning’s double.

7. If you can’t get to your team’s ground, the TV will see you right

BBC Northern Ireland are showing Munster versus Ulster while TG4 are going rugby crazy on Saturday, with Leinster’s match against Ospreys followed by Scarlets visit to Connacht.

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