Thursday 23 March 2017

Foley may hold back Zebo and Ryan

Foley says he will see how Munster's Simon Zebo performs through the week before selecting him for their clash with Ulster
Foley says he will see how Munster's Simon Zebo performs through the week before selecting him for their clash with Ulster

John Fallon

The World Cup was a distant memory for Irish players Simon Zebo and Donnacha Ryan as they returned to training in the wind and rain in Limerick yesterday morning.

The pair look set to see their first action of the season for Munster against Ulster on Friday but Conor Murray and Keith Earls, who played in all five World Cup games, have been given further time off.

Munster coach Anthony Foley said that he would see how Zebo and Ryan perform during the week before making a call on whether to give them a run against Ulster.

"With anything around fellas coming back from a big tournament, off a big disappointment, they are physically in great shape but we need to see mentally where they are at.

"We are going into week three now of a 16-week block. You don't want to put them in early and suffer the consequences later."

He hopes to have Tyler Bleyendaal available for this weekend after the Kiwi withdrew before Friday's trip to Scarlets, where Munster winning start to the season came to an end.

"He pulled out of the warm-up, he has a slight strain in his quad, when he was kicking the ball in the warm-up he noticed it. He felt he could run, he felt he could do everything bar kick a ball. Other than that he was fine.

"You never know, it might have ruled him out of contention for this week, if he'd played, or maybe even further down the road. So we felt that it was important that the decision was made that he didn't start."

Foley confirmed that he has signed back row cover for his injured captain Peter O'Mahony and Irish flanker Tommy O'Donnell and he hopes to announce his new signing as soon as procedures are finalised.

"It has kind of happened, but you won't find out until next Thursday," was all he would say on the matter.

Foley wouldn't confirm that the player is non-Irish but it is expected that he will draft in an international to cover for the loss of the Irish duo.

However, Munster have confirmed the short-term signing of Uruguay prop Mario Sagario as cover for the injured Stephen Archer.

Irish Independent

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