Carbery and Earls set to face Leinster

Picture: Brendan Moran

Munster and Ireland backs Joey Carbery and Keith Earls look set to return from injury to face Leinster in Saturday’s Guinness PRO14 semi-final following a positive fitness update from Johann van Graan.

The Munster head coach said that fly-half Carbery, out since March 30 with a hamstring injury, and wing Earls, who suffered a thigh strain during a pre-game warm-up on April 5, were set to return to full training yesterday having completed their rehab training last week.

Van Graan added that if they are passed fit they would start at the weekend, priming Carbery for a start against his old province, his second since leaving Leinster last summer in search of more game time at number 10.

“Joey and Earlsy trained last week. They’ll do more training this week,” van Graan said. 

“Obviously, we’re trying to look after them very well. There’s a big possibility that they will play and, like I said after the Treviso game, they’re pretty important players to ourselves and if they’re 100% ready, I’ll pick both of them.

“Some of the things from both of them in training are pretty special, and we’ll make our decisions later in the week but hopefully if Joey’s ready he’ll play. 

"It’s the same with Earlsy, he’s been out for a long time now and I believe your big players will perform in the big games and if both of them are ready I’m going to back both of them. They’ve been brilliant in our season...

“You want your best players playing in the big games. Hopefully they’ll be ready and then they are some pretty difficult decisions to make (for replacement fly-half) between Tyler (Bleyendaal) and JJ (Hanrahan).”

Munster also welcomed back flanker Tommy O’Donnell to training having initially been ruled out until next season following a shoulder injury, and lock Fineen Wycherley (hamstring).

“So we’ve got a pretty healthy squad to look forward to on the weekend,” the Munster boss added.

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