As the competitive season draws closer, Munster’s preparations include two upcoming pre-season games as part of the Kearys Renault Series.
First up are Italian side Zebre this Friday at the Regional Sports Centre in Waterford (kick-off 7pm). In preparing for the first encounter of the season, and a first for the new coaching ticket, the Munster squad stepped up their training programme in UL this week with an extended matchday squad set to be named on Wednesday.
In addition to some household names, it is expected a number of Academy and club players, who have been training during the pre-season, will be included in Friday’s squad.
Those not involved include returning internationals Conor Murray, Keith Earls, CJ Stander, Donnacha Ryan and Dave Kilcoyne, and rehabbing players such as Sam Arnold (knee), Mark Chisholm (concussion), Sean McCarthy (knee), Peter O’Mahony (knee) and Johnny Holland (hamstring).
Francis Saili underwent a further shoulder procedure on Monday and is currently recovering post-op. Speaking with the media today, the province’s director of rugby Rassie Erasmus confirmed that the Kiwi centre is expected to be sidelined for approximately three to four months.
Newcomer Jean Kleyn has linked up with the Munster squad as of last week, however this Friday’s game comes too early for selection as the South African lock continues to settle in and familiarise himself with the new set-up.
In returning to the east Munster venue for the first time since August 2014, tickets for Munster v Zebre can be purchased at the ground on matchday, online here, or by calling 061 421103.
Tickets from: adults €;15; juniors €;7; family of two (1 adult and 1 junior) €;18; family of four (2 adults and 2 juniors) €;30.