Rowntree hoping to have O'Mahony in the mix at Musgrave 

O’Mahony landed awkwardly from a lineout jump in the 67th minute of the weekend loss at Dragons but stayed on the pitch to the full-time whistle.
Rowntree hoping to have O'Mahony in the mix at Musgrave 

RACE AGAINST TIME: Peter O'Mahony during a Munster rugby squad training session at the University of Limerick in Limerick. Pic: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Graham Rowntree is confident Munster captain Peter O’Mahony will be in the selection mix for Saturday’s home opener against Zebre Parma despite the ankle injury he sustained last Sunday.

O’Mahony landed awkwardly from a lineout jump in the 67th minute of the weekend loss at Dragons but stayed on the pitch to the full-time whistle. Munster head coach Rowntree delivered an upbeat assessment of the skipper’s potentially availability for the BKT United Rugby Championship clash at Musgrave Park in Cork this Saturday (5:05pm).

Asked how serious O’Mahony’s injury was, Rowntree said: “At this point, not serious at all. We'll wait and see what happens in selection later in the week.” Fellow Ireland international Keith Earls, who like his captain was making his first appearance of the new season, is a doubt for Saturday after succumbing to a suspected hamstring injury in the first half at Rodney Parade and Rowntree said the veteran wing did not train yesterday.

While it seems likely there will be at least one enforced change, the head coach did not rule out further selection decisions going against the starters from last weekend’s loss in South Wales.

“It's up to me, isn't it? Some guys made some uncharacteristic errors, I have to understand that as well, we'll potentially change a few things in the team, that's for me to decide.” His selection options have been limited by the absence of nine players currently on tour in South Africa with Emerging Ireland, while centre Chris Farrell is unavailable for the foreseeable future pending the resolution of legal proceedings in France. Yet Rowntree said there would not need to be a search for reinforcements from outside the squad.

“Currently our squad depth is good in that area.” 

 That does not stretch to RG Snyman’s imminent availability, with the South African World Cup-winning lock still not ready for a long-awaited return from a second serious knee injury having re-ruptured an ACL almost a year ago.

“He’s not quite there yet. He’s had a very difficult year and we’re not pushing him. All I can say at this point, for the foreseeable, he’s not quite ready yet.”

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