As the Munster squad gathered in UL today to begin preparations for Friday’s GUINNESS PRO14 game against the Dragons, there were no fresh injury concerns to report following the round 7 defeat to Connacht at the Sportsground.
On a further positive note, a number of players are progressing well on the rehabilitation front with Tyler Bleyendaal (neck) taking part in limited training this week, while Gerbrandt Grobler (ankle), Ronan O’Mahony (fibula) and Conor Oliver (shoulder) have all advanced to on-pitch rehabilitation sessions.
With 11 members of the Munster squad attending Ireland camp in Carton House, Rassie Erasmus confirmed that Simon Zebo, who scored the province’s opening try against Connacht, and newcomer Chris Cloete will be involved in Friday night’s encounter at Irish Independent Park.
Club representation at the weekend saw David Johnston, who crossed for a brace of tries, Bill Johnston, Sam Arnold and Alex Wootton all line out for Garryowen in their 27-20 victory at Dooradoyle, while Stephen Fitzgerald, Duncan Casey and Ciaran Parker all featured for Shannon in their 27-22 derby win over UL Bohemians at Thomond Park.
Robin Copeland started for Young Munster in their Division 1A duel with Cork Constitution, joining the Academy’s Fineen Wycherley in the second row, as the pair got one over a Cork Con side that included Darren O’Shea up front.
Meanwhile, the upcoming round 8 duel with the Dragons in Cork could be director of rugby Erasmus’ last Munster game with incoming head coach Johann van Graan in line to join the province later this month.
And it is a match-up that the departing South African is looking forward to, stating: “The Dragons certainly have some firepower and have five guys in the Welsh team. It’s going to be a massive challenge for us.
“It shows how much he (Bernard Jackman) has got right in a short space, they are building, building and gaining confidence and had some really good games, so it’s going to be tough on Friday night.”
Tickets for Munster v Dragons start from just €;7 with a family pack (two adults & two children) just €;40. Buy online here, from the Munster Rugby Ticket Offices at Irish Independent Park and Thomond Park, or by calling 061 421103.