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Cloete is a 'massive loss' admits Van Graan

Munster's injured flanker Chris Cloete. Photo: Sportsfile
Munster's injured flanker Chris Cloete. Photo: Sportsfile

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Munster head coach Johann van Graan has admitted that the loss of flanker Chris Cloete for what looks like the rest of the season is a big blow to the province.

The South African  fractured a forearm in Friday's 21-10 win over Glasgow Warriors and is unlikely to see action again until next season. The 27-year-old underwent surgery on Saturday morning but won't be adding to the 10 appearances he has made since arriving in November on a three-year deal.

"Chris Cloete a massive loss for Munster for the year ahead," said van Graan at Munster's base in Limerick yesterday.

"He was operated on Saturday morning the operation was a success, but he is still in a bit of pain. Luckily, he was all smiles here this morning with his arm. It went well but it looks like it is the end of the season for Chris.

"Just on a personal note for him, he came to Munster this year and I thought he had a massive impact not only on the field but off the field as well, he is one of the characters of the team.

"I think the nicest thing is the way the guys embraced him after the game and even this morning. They know it's a big loss but that's part and parcel of rugby. It's the next guy's opportunity to step up. Luckily, we have got Tommy O'Donnell back, which I am looking forward to see play and Conor (Oliver) has been pretty special in the two games have seen him play thus far. So we have options at openside."

Van Graan is also hopeful that Niall Scannell will recover from a rib cartilage injury in time for Friday's trip to play Edinburgh.

Irish Independent

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