Thursday 22 August 2019

Cronin and Earls join lengthy injury list ahead of Johann van Graan's first game in charge of Munster

Munster defence coach Jacques Nienaber in conversation with James Cronin of Munster before Munster Rugby squad training at the University of Limerick in Limerick. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Munster defence coach Jacques Nienaber in conversation with James Cronin of Munster before Munster Rugby squad training at the University of Limerick in Limerick. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

James Cronin and Keith Earls are two of at least 10 Munster players to miss Johann van Graan's first game in charge of the province against Zebre on Sunday.

Earls and Cronin have both been ruled out of this weekend's trip to Parma as they continue to rehabilitate from respective calf and hamstring injuries while Tommy O'Donnell (shoulder), Duncan Williams (shoulder) and Tyler Bleyendaal (neck) will also miss out through injury despite signs of improvement.

Meanwhile Gerbrandt Grobler (ankle), Conor Oliver (shoulder), Dan Goggin (knee), Dave O’Callaghan (knee), Jaco Taute (knee) and Niall Scannell (thumb) continue to sit on the sidelines as they recover from their respective injuries.

On a more positive front, number eight Jack O’Donoghue returned to training this week following a minor ankle injury sustained against the Dragons earlier this month while Ronan O’Mahony returned to on-field training last week as he continues his return from a fractured fibula.

The provinces will also soon discover what international players may be available to them with Ireland Head Coach Joe Schmidt set to name his side to face Argentina on Thursday.

It had been initially expected that van Graan, Rassie Erasmus and Jacques Nienaber would work in tandem for a period before the departing duo returned to take up positions with the South African unions, but instead van Graan will now be in sole charge against Zebre.

The former Springboks forwards coach did spend a week in Limerick last month ahead of the Racing 92 victory where he observed preparations and was introduced to the players.

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