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Archer An Absentee For Munster

Archer An Absentee For Munster

Prop Stephen Archer will miss Munster’s trip to France this weekend after sustaining a wrist injury in the RaboDirect PRO12 match against the Dragons last Friday.

Stephen Archer, the recent Ireland debutant, is looking at a four-plus week recovery period after dislocating a bone in his left wrist.

Munster trained at the University of Limerick on Monday ahead of their dual semi-final assigmnents at the weekend – the senior team in Heineken Cup action against Clermont Auvergne in Montpelier, while Ian Costello’s British & Irish Cup side take on Leinster ‘A’ at Dooradoyle on Friday.

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Costello will oversee that game in Limerick before travelling to Cork to fly out to France early on Saturday morning and join up with the senior squad.

News on the injury front is that doubts remain over Peter O’Mahony (hip), Donncha O’Callaghan (knee), Keith Earls (hamstring), James Downey (hand) and captain Doug Howlett (shoulder), while Mike Sherry did not train because of tonsilitis.

Weighing up the challenge posed by a much-fancied Clermont outfit, Munster head coach Rob Penney said: “There’s no doubt Clermont are roaring hot favourites and we’re underdogs. You can either thrive under that tag or wilt away.

“The best teams should be in the Heineken Cup at this stage and Clermont are certainly in that bracket.

“They’ve got real depth. We were going through their substitutes and you would be just wrapped to have them. They have an All Black 9, 10, 12 and 13 on the bench and Sitiveni (Sivivatu) starts on the wing.

“But we still have a lot of expectation from the Munster public and supporters, it’s a double-edged sword.

“I don’t want to say we believe we will beat them but we are going to go over there and give it a good crack. A game of rugby is such a dynamic one that on any given day an underdog can pull it off.

“It’s 15 versus 15, we have a great referee in Nigel Owens and we just have to make sure we prepare well and perform.”

Commenting on the province’s 30-24 league loss to the Dragons, he added: “We were disappointed with the result in the end. It was one of those games where we lost it in the first half. We came back well but couldn’t quite complete it.

“It won’t affect confidence at all. We have managed to get into a semi-final and now have to focus on a massive game against Clermont.”