A number of players sat out Munster’s squad session today in managing their respective knocks, while hooker Kevin O’Byrne and Greencore Academy lock John Madigan have both signed new contracts with the province.
Back rower Dave O’Callaghan sustained a concussion in last Sunday’s win over Benetton Treviso in Italy and is currently following the return-to-play protocols.
Ian Keatley is the latest squad member to fall foul of the usual seasonal illnesses in recent weeks. The Munster playmaker sat out today’s session as did Cian Bohane (back spasm), Ronan O’Mahony (hamstring) and Tomas O’Leary (groin), all of whom continue to be monitored by the province’s medical team.
James Cronin (hamstring) underwent running drills today and is expected to take a full part in training later this week. Meanwhile, centre Denis Hurley has sustained a further calf injury and is expected to be sidelined for another four to six weeks.
Peter O’Mahony (knee) continues his rehabilitation programme in addition to Tyler Bleyendaal (quad), Duncan Casey (pec) and BJ Botha (knee).
Following his involvement in Ireland’s RBS 6 Nations encounter with England at Twickenham last Saturday, Simon Zebo trained with his provincial team-mates in UL today.
On the contract front, development hooker Kevin O’Byrne has signed a two-year contract extension, while Greencore Academy lock John Madigan has signed a one-year development contract.
A former Munster Under-20 player, O’Byrne joined the Munster squad at the start of the 2014/15 season off the back of impressive performances with his club side UL Bohemians.
In his first season as a professional player he went on to make 11 appearances, making his PRO12 debut starting against Edinburgh at Thomond Park in September 2014. The 24 year-old Corkman has featured on one occasion so far this season, in addition to lining out for Munster ‘A’ in the British & Irish Cup.
Madigan joins Rory Scannell, David Johnston and Sean McCarthy as the latest Greencore Academy player to be promoted to the Munster senior squad for next season. In his final year of the Academy, the 21-year-old made his PRO12 debut against Treviso last September after featuring in Munster’s pre-season games in 2014 and 2015.
A product of the club pathway, the Charleville native previously lined out for Ireland Under-18s and although his game-time has been limited due to a string of injuries over the last two years, at 6ft 6in and 124 kg, the young second row has shown his future potential.