Thursday 13 December 2018

Kilcoyne ready for Munster return with Ireland in mind

Dave Kilcoyne has now returned to Munster. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Dave Kilcoyne has now returned to Munster. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

John Fallon

Prop Dave Kilcoyne is set to feature for Munster this weekend in Cardiff to put himself in line for adding to his 22 Irish caps in the remaining Six Nations clashes.

The 29-year-old, who featured in the November Tests against South Africa and Argentina, suffered an untimely knee injury in the Champions Cup win over Castres last month.

He missed out on the brief Irish preparation camp in Spain ahead of the opening Six Nations encounter with France and having again linked up with the Irish squad in the build-up to the win over Italy, Kilcoyne has now returned to Munster.

Coach Johann van Graan said that Kilcoyne is in contention to play in the PRO14 in Cardiff on Saturday.

"Dave Kilcoyne is back in camp and hopefully he will be in the 23," said Van Graan, who confirmed that Ian Keatley and Rory Scannell would also be available for Saturday's game, having been released from Irish camp.

Van Graan said he was relieved they didn't suffer any more injuries in Saturday's 33-5 win over Zebre at Thomond Park, when they eventually pulled away to win in the closing 25 minutes.

"Quite a few bumps and bruises," said Van Graan as he assessed his squad at their headquarters in Limerick yesterday.

"It was a lot more physical than it looked to the eye. We had to make a lot of tackles.

"We knew that they wanted to keep the ball and it was important for us that they kept the ball in their own half, which I thought we did well. We defended well, we've only conceded one try in the last two games.

"I think the weekend showed that in this competition anybody can beat anybody in this competition."

Van Graan reiterated that these games are the perfect opportunity for players to put their hand up for selection when the internationals return, with the Champions Cup quarter-final against Toulon next month coming fast down the tracks.

"We've got big dreams for this team for this year and going forward. We said from day one this is a squad effort and in order for yourself to play in the big games you need to perform in, let's call it the smaller games."

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