Friday 22 September 2017

We would like to have Robbie Henshaw here - Munster assistant boss Ian Costello

Robbie Henshaw, left, and Jared Payne
Robbie Henshaw, left, and Jared Payne

John Fallon

Munster assistant coach Ian Costello said they would be thrilled to sign Robbie Henshaw but stressed that they had not made a move for the Irish centre.

Costello said that they have a global search for players in motion and that getting the talented 21-year to come to Munster would be an ideal fit.

But Costello said that with Henshaw contracted to Connacht until the summer of 2016, linking him with the Reds was merely speculation at this stage.

"It's an ongoing process. Would we like to have Robbie Henshaw here - absolutely. Robbie Henshaw is contracted to Connacht at the moment and it sounds like he is going to be contracted next year.

"In the future, if someone like Robbie is available, it would make an awful lot of sense to be going after him, but at the moment all that stuff is speculation. We have a fairly wide list of names that we are narrowing down and inquiring about their availability and we will work out what the best fit for Munster is then."

Meanwhile, hot on the heels of Damien Varley's retirement through injury, there was another blow yesterday when it was confirmed that Robin Copeland is out for the remainder of the season.

The 27-year old, who made his international debut off the bench against Georgia in November, suffered a shoulder injury in the 28-13 win over Leinster on St Stephen's Day and will now require surgery. He has played 11 games since joining Munster during the summer from Cardiff.

"They tried a conservative treatment and we hoped that with an injection and a lot of intensive rehab it would settle down. He got really close a couple of times but kept coming up short at the last hurdle so the medical advice now is that he needs to go for surgery," said Costello.

There is better news for another back rower CJ Stander who is expected to return to full training soon from an ankle injury, while centre Andrew Smith is moving closer to a return from a knee injury which has kept him out since before Christmas.

And Munster are hopeful that their other international hooker Mike Sherry will make it back before the end of the season from a shoulder injury which has ruled him out for over a year, while lock Donnacha Ryan, out now for almost a year, is also making progress and began some scrummage work this week as he recovers from a toe injury.

Irish Independent

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