Following on from last Friday night’s GUINNESS PRO12 win over the Ospreys, there are no fresh injury concerns to report for Munster, and a trio of newcomers have arrived in the province.
Jaco Taute, who was replaced after 32 minutes on Friday night at Irish Independent Park, received stitches above his eye and the South African centre will return to training as the week progresses.
Meanwhile, Dave Foley (elbow) is back in full training this week, while fellow second row Jean Kleyn (knee) is expected to resume full training the week of Munster’s round 9 match against Benetton Yreviso.
With a long-term injury to Cathal Sheridan (ankle), and Conor Murray unavailable through international commitments, director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has bolstered his options available at scrum half.
Munster have recruited the services of Ulster’s Angus Lloyd and Bay of Plenty half-back Te Aihe Toma as injury cover on short-term loans, and both players joined the squad today in Limerick.
Dublin native Lloyd has made one PRO12 appearance for the northern province with the 24-year-old featuring for Munster ‘A’ at Naas RFC last April, while the 23-year-old Toma made 34 appearances for Bay of Plenty and lined out for the Highlanders on three occasions during the 2016 Super Rugby season.
Fellow short-term signing, prop Thomas du Toit, has also linked up with the squad today. The following players are continuing to rehab – the aforementioned Sheridan (ankle), Dave O’Callaghan (shoulder), Kevin O’Byrne (elbow), Sean McCarthy (knee), Mark Chisholm (concussion) and Mike Sherry (back).
Meanwhile, 25,600 supporters will be there to witness #HistoryInTheMaking as Munster take on the Maori All Blacks for the first time at a sold-out Thomond Park this coming Friday (kick-off 7.30pm). There will be live coverage on eir Sport.
The third sell-out in as many home games for the Munstermen, the Maori All Blacks are the third international side to play at Thomond Park since its redevelopment, following the All Blacks in 2008 and Australia in 2010.
Once again, last weekend saw a large number of Munster representatives from the senior and Academy ranks lined out for their respective clubs in the Ulster Bank League.
In Division 1A, Young Munster moved to the top of the table after a hard-fought win over St. Mary’s at Templeville Road where the Academy’s Dan Goggin (2) and Gavin Coombes both crossed for tries. Following on from his PRO12 debut off the bench for Munster against the Ospreys the previous night, Abrie Griesel also started for the Cookies.
At Temple Hill, the Academy’s Shane Daly, Ned Hodson, Liam O’Connor and Rory Burke all helped Cork Constitution move into the top four with a 31-15 victory over Terenure College, Daly bagging a second half try.
Elsewhere, David Johnston, returning centre Sam Arnold and the Academy’s Steven McMahon and Sean O’Connor all travelled to the Belfield Bowl with Garryowen. Johnston crossed for the Light Blues’ only try but it was not enough as they lost 23-16 to UCD.
Old Belvedere climbed to fourth in the standings, helped hugely by Munster’s Steve Crosbie who kicked five penalties as ‘Belvo overcame Clontarf 20-13 at Castle Avenue.
Shannon recorded their first triumph of the campaign with a 17-10 verdict against Dolphin on the back pitch at Thomond Park. Academy back rower John Foley started at number 8 for the hosts, while another player who featured in Munster’s defeat of the Ospreys, John Madigan, lined out in the second row for Dolphin.