Ahead of Saturday’s GUINNESS PRO12 derby match away to Munster, the Connacht Rugby medical team have provided the following update.
Kieran Marmion has returned to full training and is available for selection, while fellow backs Marnitz Boshoff, Cian Kelleher and Darragh Leader all came through last Saturday’s disappointing 30-8 home defeat to the Scarlets with no ill-effects.
Steve Crosbie sustained an AC joint injury in the previous PRO12 clash with Leinster and is continuing his rehabilitation.
Eoin Griffin is following the return-to-play protocols following the head injury he suffered in the first half against the Scarlets. Josh Rowland sustained a foot injury in training last week and will be out of action for a number of weeks.
Reflecting on Connacht’s poor outing against the Scarlets and previewing this weekend’s trip to Limerick, head coach Pat Lam told the Irish Times: “Round one, Glasgow – okay, we didn’t have a good pre-season – but round 21, unacceptable. For whatever reason why, it doesn’t matter now. It’s about the fact that it has to change, and there will be changes in the team. Those guys had a chance and now it’s other guys who get an opportunity to show up and redeem themselves as a whole group.
“Derby games take care of themselves, and it doesn’t really matter where it sits in the PRO12 table. That aside, it’s Connacht versus Munster, and we are going down to a Munster team that is humming nicely and having a tremendous season.
“So it’s a great challenge to try to find some form. There will be opportunities for players. If they can perform under pressure, it gives them a great shot for the (Champions Cup qualification) play-off.
“It is a tough time, we’ve only beaten Munster once in 29 years, so it just emphasises the difficulty of going there – tougher than last year because of where they are now. Without doubt we are not in the form we want to be, and Munster are preparing to win the PRO12 and players are working hard to make the team.
“I know what they are going through. It’s a different dynamic for us – ours is fighting for places to get to Champions Cup rugby next year…still the same determination, but just a different prize.”