Wednesday 24 July 2019

Ireland's call may influence decision on O'Mahony

Peter O'Mahony. Photo: Sportsfile
Peter O'Mahony. Photo: Sportsfile
David Kelly

David Kelly

Munster will give their captain Peter O'Mahony every chance of overcoming a rib injury ahead of what is effectively a quarter-final shoot-out with Exeter Chiefs in Thomond Park this Saturday.

However, with the commencement of the Six Nations just a few weeks away, the IRFU will also be keeping a keen eye on the progress of one of Joe Schmidt's crucial pack leaders and O'Mahony's fitness will be rigorously monitored before a final decision is made on Thursday.

O'Mahony suffered a popped rib early in the second half of Friday's defeat of Gloucester and is only rated "50-50" at best to be fit for this week's final flourish.

"He's gone for a scan this morning," said Van Graan. "He's had some treatment over the weekend, with a bang to the ribs and rib cartilage you do have a lot of pain. It's not something that just goes away.

"So we'll give him every opportunity to recover up to Saturday. Unfortunately, if you're a forward, it's not something you can hide, if you go to the breakdown, or steal a ball. I had a chat to him this morning, he's very open-minded about it."

Meanwhile, Kieran Marmion is set to give Schmidt some badly-needed good news on the scrum-half front after confirming he is on course to be back for the Six Nations after ankle surgery.

However, it remains to be seen if he will be fit for the opening clash against England and he might not be back until Ireland travel to Scotland a week later.

The weekend injuries to Luke McGrath and John Cooney has created a headache for Schmidt but Marmion said he is on course to return on schedule.

"Everything is going to plan," said Marmion, whose stand-in, Caolin Blade, may be included in an extended Irish squad tomorrow.

"I just started back running again now a week or so ago."

Irish Independent

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