Simon Zebo adds to Munster injury woes ahead of Cardiff clash

No sooner did Rassie Erasmus solve one injury crisis at Munster with the loan signing of Springbok centre Jaco Taute than another reared its head with Simon Zebo ruled out of action for five weeks.

Munster, who began life under new director of rugby Erasmus with a win at Scarlets last Saturday, play their first home game of the season in Cork tonight (7:35pm) when Cardiff Blues arrive at Musgrave Park looking to build on their opening-round victory at home to Edinburgh.

While the Blues welcome back their contingent of internationals, four starters led by captain Gethin Jenkins and three more on the bench, including Wales skipper Sam Warburton, Munster are still waiting for the return of many frontliners. Though they will have back-rower CJ Stander on the bench for his first game-time, Erasmus will be denied the services of full-back Zebo, who suffered a fractured rib in the opening minutes in Wales.

News of Zebo’s absence came as Munster covered midfield injuries to Francis Saili and Sammy Arnold by bringing in centre/full-back Taute, 25, from Erasmus’s old Super Rugby outfit the Stormers on a four-month loan, subject to a work permit. Zebo should return for the Champions Cup pool opener at Racing 92 in Paris on October 16.

MUNSTER:

A Conway; D Sweetnam, D Goggin, R Scannell, R O’Mahony; I Keatley, D Williams; J Cronin, N Scannell, J Ryan; D Foley, B Holland - captain; D O’Callaghan, T O’Donnell, J O’Donoghue.

Replacements:

D Casey, D Kilcoyne, B Scott, D Ryan, CJ Stander, T O’Leary, C Bohane, S Fitzgerald.

CARDIFF BLUES:

D Fish; A Cuthbert, C Allen, R Lee-Lo, T James; G Anscombe, T Williams; G Jenkins - captain, K Dacey, T Filise; G Earle, M Cook; J Navidi, E Jenkins, N Williams.

Replacements:

M Rees, R Gill, S Andrews, J Turnbull, S Warburton, L Williams, S Shingler, M Morgan.

Referee:

Ian Davies (Wales)


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