The two Munster players jettisonned from Joe Schmidt’s World Cup squad will be reintigrated quickly into Anthony Foley’s Munster grouping for the forthcoming Guinness Pro12 championship campaign.
In relation to Felix Jones and Dave Kilcoyne, Foley said yesterday he would need to look at where both players are coming from in relation to their release.
As Munster prepare for Saturday night’s clash with Treviso at Musgrave Park (7.45pm), he noted: “Both are available but I need to just see where they’re at mentally and physically in terms of knowledge around what we’re doing and making sure that it is the right thing for them to play this game.
“Both have had different circumstances. Felix was back to us Monday morning and so has had two full days with us and a recovery day.
“Dave is only back today from Irish camp, he had to stay up there for an extra couple of days so I need to have a conversation with him and see where he stands around knowledge about what we are doing and what our game plan is, and then I need to make decisions that are right for the team.”
Foley still has doubts about whether his new centre Francis Saili will be available for one, two, three or more weeks following his unfortunate injury last week against London Irish.
The coach said: “It’s a return to play from concussion so it’s the same as any other concussion players have , we treat it seriously and they’ll go through the protocols and make a judgment tomorrow (Thursday). I think every precaution was taken. Everybody saw the incident and it looked horrendous, in terms of the way he fell back.
“Nobody really knew what it was, but he was lucid and he was talking to the doctors and physios and they took every precaution around head knocks which they have to do and he started his protocol and we’ll see what the time allows.
“We’re always worried but you want all your best players fit and available. You want that competition within the squad and you want everybody on edge. Francis (for instance) has come in and obviously scored a lovely try at the weekend made a few very good defensive reads, put in a lot of work. It’s the unseen work he’s doing like the talk, the organisation he gives to us. It’s also inner stuff like the confidence he gives to others to play.
“We’d seen that in him in videos and stuff but we’d only heard about in terms of people who had worked with him. We’re very happy with the player we have at the moment and hopefully we can see him kick on.”
There are others, however, and Foley rates the likes of Jack O’Donoghue. “Overall, we’re pretty healthy at the moment. We’ve got one or two niggles which are two or three week jobs before they get back but we’re pretty healthy. The only fellas that are long-term are Peter McCabe and Tommy O’Donnell.”
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