The Munster squad trained at Thomond Park today as they continued preparations for Saturday afternoon’s decisive interprovincial clash away to Ulster in the GUINNESS PRO12.
With both sides gunning for only their second home semi-final in the league, the Munstermen will complete preparations with another joint session on Thursday before heading for Belfast on Friday.
On the injury front, Dave O’Callaghan picked up a torn MCL in his left knee during the Munster ‘A’ team’s victory over Ulster Ravens at Naas RFC last Wednesday. He has been ruled out for the remainder of the season.
James Cronin is another player not in contention for selection this weekend. The loosehead prop sustained a bruised knee while training in the week of the recent Benetton Treviso game and is expected to return to training next week.
Ivan Dineen continues to rehab an ongoing knee injury with the Munster medical staff, while Kevin O’Byrne (neck) will return to non-contact training later this week.
There was good news for Mike Sherry who returned to on-field non-contact training today. The hooker has not featured for the province since November 2013 after undergoing two shoulder surgeries last year, the second of which took place in August.
There are positive updates regarding Tyler Bleyendaal (pictured above) and Cathal Sheridan, with both players showing no ill-effects from their game-time with Munster ‘A’. The successful completion of the players’ respective rehab programmes (prolapsed disc and forearm) is a welcome boost for head coach Anthony Foley.
Meanwhile, Cian Bohane (knee), Johnny Holland (hamstring), Gerhard van den Heever (knee), Dave Foley (wrist), Robin Copeland (shoulder), Alan Cotter (bicep), Barry O’Mahony (ankle) and Martin Kelly (neck) all continue to follow their tailored rehab programmes with the Munster medical staff.
Munster Rugby distributed 1,200 tickets from their official ticket allocation for Saturday’s round 21 showdown in Belfast, the most any travelling opposition has sold to their home support base in the PRO12 this season. Fans have also purchased tickets through the Ulster general sale.