Johann van Graan has rated fly-half JJ Hanrahan’s chances of facing Racing 92 on Sunday in Paris as 50/50 with the Munster boss preparing to decide between rookie Ben Healy and Rory Scannell as his starting number 10 in the absence of Joey Carbery.
Munster defence coach JP Ferreira is the first to acknowledge that Faf de Klerk and Craig Casey are at contrasting points in their careers but he can think of nobody better than the World Cup winner for the young Limerick scrum-half to follow.
Joey Carbery’s likely return from an ankle injury before the end of the year will be good news for Ireland in the absence of Johnny Sexton but Munster will have to plan without him and a handful of others for this Saturday’s trip to Saracens.
Ask any Munster supporter their thoughts on the Saracens personnel coming to Thomond Park this evening and they will take the matchday squad named by Mark McCall yesterday in a heartbeat. Ask the Munster coaching group the same question and they will not be taking anything for granted.
Munster are holding out hope that JJ Hanrahan will pass fit to face Ospreys in their Heineken Champions Cup pool opener in Wales on Saturday but the province will definitely be without Dave Kilcoyne for the first two rounds at least of the European campaign.
Munster may be without out-half Joey Carbery for the opening two rounds of the Champions Cup against Ospreys and Racing 92. Defence coach JP Ferreira said the priority was to get him and all the Irish internationals right for the season on their return from the World Cup.
Around the same time that Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe was breaking down the facts and figures of his Budget, the South Africans were crunching numbers and opponents of their own when hammering Canada 66-7 in Kobe.
This becomes a delicate balancing act now. There are some very smart people in the Irish backroom team with Joe Schmidt, but this is mostly about the Irish players and the World Cup. You can see the confidence is skin deep at the moment, it’s not in their bones.