Rest of Carbery's season in doubt as JJ rated '50/50' for Racing
Munster are sweating on the fitness of two key players and may have to roll the dice.
Munster head coach Johann van Graan faced the media down at the province's University of Limerick base and there was plenty of dicey news to get through. Van Graan confirmed to Sinead Kissane of Virgin Media that Joey Carbery will be out for 'two to four months' following surgery on his fractured wrist.
Carbery picked up the injury in Munster's 38-17 loss to Ulster and his sum total of provincial appearances may now end at two for this season. He will definitely miss the 2020 Guinness Six Nations and coming back at the tail-end of Munster's season will rest on how well he rehabs and how quickly the injured wrist heals post-surgery.
The South African has more fitness concerns ahead of Sunday's must-win Champions Cup clash with Racing 92, in Paris. JJ Hanrahan - the only senior outhalf left in the squad - is rated as '50/50' to play while a late call will be made on the participation of fullback Mike Haley.
On the latest episode of Baz & Andrew's House of Rugby, Barry Murphy, Andrew Trimble and Jerry Flannery looked ahead to that Munster game [from 25:00 below] and discussed how a win could revive the southern province's season.
Flannery and Murphy, who both have plenty of European experience from their Munster days, belief the team often brings out their very best when they find themselves with their backs to the wall.
Murphy would love to see Van Graan give the No.10 jersey to Rory Scannell, who has spent most of his time in the professional game as an inside centre. Munster have used Scannell as a second receiver a lot more this season and he has taken a lot more kicks from hand.
As for outhalf experience, the club side were quick to promote his credentials this week:
People are saying he has not played 10 since school but he did very well for Dolphin in 13/14 when he started there 11 times in AIL for Dolphin. His last game was in 2015, came on as sub as a 10, turned a 0-15 score into 24-23 win, kicking 4 pens and an excellent performance. https://t.co/883NWRMEEa
— DolphinRFC (@DolphinRFC) January 7, 2020
Munster have also confirmed some adjustments to their Champions Cup squad ahead of the final two pool games of the current campaign. Craig Casey, Diarmuid Barron and Gavin Coombes have all come into the squad, with Alby Mathewson, Jed Holloway and Tadhg Beirne all deregistered.
The Racing vs. Munster encounter kicks off at 3:15pm on Sunday. Munster are currently on 11 points so a loss would not immediately end their quarter final chances but even a bonus point win over Ospreys would, most likely, not be enough to advance.
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Barry Murphy and Andrew Trimble are joined in the House of Rugby studio by Jerry Flannery as they look back on all the Guinness PRO14 action, preview some big Champions Cup games and look ahead to the Six Nations.