Tadhg Beirne and Chris Farrell, a couple of key Munster team members whose season has been badly disrupted by injury, have been recalled to the Irish camp at Carton House by coach Joe Schmidt and so are now in contention for selection for Sunday’s game against Italy in Rome.
Beirne has been out of action since limping out at a late stage of the European Cup match against Exeter Chiefs a month ago.
Farrell suffered a recurrence of knee trouble in Munster’s win over the Southern Kings on Friday night last but coach Johann van Graan hinted today that it is not considered serious.
“We must wait to see what the national medical team have to say but we are hopeful that he should be fit for Sunday if selected”, he said.
“It’s to Chris’s favour that he actually ran off the pitch on Friday night”.
Niall Scannell and Andrew Conway have also been recalled to the Irish camp and so are clearly in the running to face the Italians along with Conor Murray, Keith Earls, Peter O’Mahony and Dave Kilcoyne who have remained with the Irish panel.
CJ Stander, however, is still recovering from the nasty facial injury sustained in the Ireland-England game and so is recuperating back home in Castleconnell with his wife Jean-Marie who announced over the weekend that the couple are expecting their first child later in the year.
Munster are now preparing for Friday night’s Guinness Pro14 clash with the Ospreys in Swansea when it is possible that Jack O’Donoghue, reported to be fully fit once again by van Graan, may make his first appearance in the back-row.
There is still no sign of a return to action for loose head prop James Cronin, who continues to deal with a knee injury that has seriously hampered his career.
With Kilcoyne also unavailable for the Ospreys game, the number one jersey will again rest between Jeremy Loughman and Liam O’Connor, both of whom figured in the runaway win against the Southern Kings.