6th March 2017 By The Editor
With no Guinness PRO12 action for the next two weekends the majority of the squad have been afforded some valuable, and much needed, downtime this week with preparations stepping up for the business end of the season on their return.
It’s not all rest and recovery as Head Coach Peter Malone’s Munster A side return to British and Irish Cup action this Sunday for the quarter-final against Ulster A.
A number of players, and those returning from injury, will be available for the Irish Independent Park fixture (3pm) with preparations commencing later in the week and the confirmed team to be announced on Friday at midday.
Following Saturday’s Guinness PRO12 round 17 victory against Cardiff Blues Ian Keatley will undergo a scan for a knee injury sustained in the opening quarter, while the medical team are waiting on the results of a scan for a Francis Saili leg knock.
On a positive front Robin Copeland had no complaints following his return to PRO12 action on Saturday night with the number 8 successfully rehabbing a thumb injury sustained against Doncaster in the B&I Cup in early January.
Sam Arnold, who sustained a knee injury in the same encounter, lined out for his club side Garryowen at the weekend and is showing no ill effects following forty minutes of game-time.
John Madigan has completed his rehab for an ankle injury sustained playing for his club side Dolphin at the end of January and is available for full training, while scrumhalf Te Aihe Toma is being managed for a wrist injury sustained last week.
Continuing to rehab – Jean Kleyn (neck), James Cronin (finger), Alex Wootton (shoulder), Sean McCarthy (knee), Mike Sherry (back).
On the club front, as mentioned, Sam Arnold was involved in Garryowen’s 19-3 defeat away to Trinity with academy winger Steven McMahon also featuring for the Sky Blues.
The academy’s Ned Hodson, Liam O’Connor and Vincent O’Brien all helped Cork Con to a 16-10 win over Lansdowne at Temple Hill, while at Bellfield, academy back row Gavin Coombes packed down at number 8 for Young Munster in their 20-13 bonus point defeat to UCD.
In Division 1B, Duncan Casey continued his return from injury, starting for Shannon on the Thomond Park back pitch where the hosts recorded a 20-14 win over Munster rivals UCC. Academy talents Stephen Fitzgerald, John Foley and Greg O’Shea also lined out for Shannon, the latter crossing the whitewash.
Munster A v Ulster A, British and Irish Cup quarter final, Sunday March 12 at Irish Independent Park – KO 3pm.
Tickets for Munster A v Ulster A can be purchased online here, from the Munster Rugby ticket offices at Irish Independent Park and Thomond Park or by calling 061 421103.