Munster expected to hold Joey Carbery back this weekend 3 weeks ago

Munster expected to hold Joey Carbery back this weekend

We are now into must-win territory and Munster are on the verge of yet another final.

Benetton Treviso, everyone's favourite second team, come to Limerick this weekend with a place in the final four at stake.

Munster will go into the quarter final clash as firm favourites but the Italian outfit have taken some big scalps this season - Cardiff, Scarlets, Glasgow - and have drawn with Ulster and Leinster.

It is eight years since the southern province lifted silverware and their supporters will have been buoyed by the quadruple fitness update that dropped on Monday.

  • Conor Murray and Dan Goggin (resumed full training)
  • Keith Earls and Joey Carbery (return to team training this week)

While we have now entered the knock-out stages of the Guinness PRO14, Munster are not expected to rush Carbery and Earls (thigh) back. Both could yet feature on the bench but the Munster coaching staff and likely to keep faith with men that have filled in well over the past few weeks.

Carbery has been out of action since round two of the Guinness Six Nations after his hamstring tear was worse than first expected. The reports from Munster, on Carbery's game-readiness, are positive but Johann van Graan is set to start Tyler Bleyendaal against Treviso.

The South African could put Carbery on the replacements bench, which would be tough on the in-form JJ Hanrahan. The Champions Cup is on the May 11-12 weekend, giving the winner of this weekend's PRO14 tie 13 days to prepare for the semis.

Risky as it may be, van Graan may look long-term at this and back his squad to see off Treviso before bringing back both Carbery and Earls for the last four. Conor Murray, though, is expected to start.

Credit: Limerick Leader

Should Earls miss out, that would leave Darren Sweetnam and Calvin Nash, who started against Connacht last week, duking it out for the No.11 jersey. Sam Arnold was bench cover for that Connacht game but Goggin may get the jump ahead of the former Ulster centre.

Rory Scannell should come back in, at inside centre, with Alby Mathewson coming into the matchday 23 and, all going well, Jack O'Donoghue.