The Munster squad began preparing for a huge weekend at the High Performance Centre in UL today ahead of Friday’s British & Irish Cup quarter-final against Leinster at Donnybrook and Saturday’s Champions Cup quarter-final against Toulon at Thomond Park.
Last Saturday’s encouraging GUINNESS PRO14 victory over the Scarlets came at a cost with Tommy O’Donnell suffering a recurrence of the shoulder injury that sidelined him recently. The Tipperary-born back rower requires further consultation and will play no part this weekend.
Centtre Rory Scannell is following the return-to-play protocols after the 19-7 win, while fellow backs Simon Zebo and Andrew Conway are both expected to train at some stage this week. Their progress will be monitored as the week continues.
Ronan O’Mahony is recovering from a hamstring knock sustained while playing for Munster ‘A’ against Ulster ‘A’ earlier this month. Continuing to rehab their respective injuries are Keith Earls (knee), Duncan Williams (facial), Tyler Bleyendaal (neck), Chris Farrell (knee), Chris Cloete (forearm) and Jaco Taute (knee).
Speaking after the Scarlets game, Munster head coach Johann van Graan said: “Yes, (Zeebs) is a doubt for next Saturday, same with Andrew Conway. At least he did some work with the physios on-field. I think it will be touch and go in both instances, so I would say 50-50 at this stage.
“It’s not something I can control at this stage, I have a lot of belief in our medical staff. Zeebs and Andrew want to be ready for next week, so it is all in the mind as well. At this stage our squad’s motto is just adapt, and reassess on Monday, start at zero, whoever is available on Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday for this game we will pick. If guys aren’t ready, we will go with guys next week that are 100%.
“I think it was pretty important for us as a squad to get a win firstly. We did that and it was important for us to be tested, we played against quality opposition tonight (in the Scarlets), so perfect preparation. From their side they are also playing a home quarter-final (in Europe).
“I am pretty confident that hopefully we get our Irish guys back on Monday, reassess, go through a slow Monday because there was a lot of running metres, hard training week on Tuesday and Wednesday and then in big games you need big players to come through and next week will be a game of pressure and hopefully we will absorb pressure and convert some pressure.”