Munster have welcomed back another front-rower to their ranks ahead of Sunday’s Heineken Champions Cup opener at Wasps with the return of Roman Salanoa to training.
Salanoa, 24, has made just seven appearances since joining from Leinster in the summer of 2020 but the Hawaiian-born, 125kg tighthead prop has recovered from a knee injury that has kept him sidelined for the season so far.
Salanoa’s return is much-needed good news given the lack of available players following Munster’s troubled trip to South Africa that has left 14 members of their travelling party with Covid-19 and self-isolating in Cape Town while the other 34 players and staff who did make it home will be quarantined until the weekend.
Those players that remained have continued to train under academy head Ian Costello at Munster’s High Performance Centre in Limerick with Salanoa, Ireland centre Chris Farrell (abdomen), and academy full-back Jonathan Wren (leg) all returning to training in recent days in a group comprising senior and academy players who didn’t travel to South Africa, a number of the province’s National Talent Squad, and also Provincial Talent Squad members.
Munster have also welcomed back academy wing Conor Phillips following his stint last week with the Ireland Men’s Sevens Development squad in Dubai with all available hands on deck for the weekend trip to the Coventry Building Society Arena.
Munster issued a further update on their quarantined players on Monday evening reporting that the 14 members of the travelling party who remained in Cape Town having tested positive for Covid-19 “are continuing to do well as they move closer to completing their respective quarantine periods at different stages this week”.
The province added: “The 34 players and staff who returned home to Ireland last Wednesday are continuing to follow the government protocols of mandatory self-isolation while following the public health-led PCR testing programme. It is expected the group will complete their quarantine period over the weekend.”
Munster will definitely be without the Limerick-based injured players RG Snyman (knee), John Hodnett (ankle), Calvin Nash (ankle), Rowan Osborne (head), and academy locks Paddy Kelly (hamstring) and Edwin Edogbo (Achilles).