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Boost for Munster as Roman Salanoa returns to fitness ahead of Wasps clash


Roman Salanoa in action for Munster. Photo by Roberto Bregani/Sportsfile

Roman Salanoa in action for Munster. Photo by Roberto Bregani/Sportsfile

Roman Salanoa in action for Munster. Photo by Roberto Bregani/Sportsfile

TIGHTHEAD prop Roman Salanoa has returned to Munster training and could feature against Wasps on Sunday in what is a significant boost to Johann van Graan's side.

The province are preparing for the European opener in Coventry without the vast majority of their first-team players and with fellow No 3s Stephen Archer, John Ryan and Keynan Knox either still in Cape Town or isolating at home, they have been left light in a key department.

Munster have been decimated by an outbreak of Covid-19 in their camp when they were in South Africa, with 14 members of their party remaining in the Rainbow Nation and the rest isolating after returning last week.

If the Hawai'ian-born front-row can come through his return unscathed, he'd beef up the Munster tight-five in what would be the biggest start of his career to date.

Recruited from Leinster before the 2020/21 season, Salanoa has had a myriad of injury issues but has more top-end experience than 20-year-old Mark Donnelly, who otherwise may make his debut against the English side.

Munster have confirmed that the 34 members of their travelling party who are isolating at home or in hotels will come out of quarantine "over the weekend", but it's not yet known if they will emerge in time to fly to England and participate in the game.

The province have scheduled a media briefing for Wednesday and are planning to name their team on Friday, with a host of senior internationals including Peter O'Mahony, Damian de Allende and Conor Murray available.

Conor Phillips is back training at the University of Limerick after playing for the Ireland Sevens development side in Dubai.

And Munster say the members of their travelling party who have remained in South Africa will complete their quarantine period "at different stages this week." It's expected they will have to fulfil a 10-day quarantine period when they return to Ireland.

Chris Farrell and Jonathan Wren are back training, but Paddy Kelly (hamstring), Edwin Edogbo (achilles), John Hodnett (ankle), Calvin Nash (ankle), Rowan Osborne (head) and RG Snyman (knee) are unavailable.

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