Friday 24 January 2020

Munster warn sideline staff after Saracens brawl as Joey Carbery targets return against Leinster

Joey Carbery is targeting a return against Leinster on December 28. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Joey Carbery is targeting a return against Leinster on December 28. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Munster have spoken to members of staff manning the sidelines to remind them of the restrictions of their role in the wake of the melee during Saturday's Champions Cup pool defeat to Saracens.

Senior coach Stephen Larkham said the province would allow tournament organisers EPCR to deal with the set-to which kicked off between their head of medical Dr Jamie Kearns and England hooker Jamie George at Allianz Park.

Dr Kearns apologised to the player and Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall for his comments and an investigation into the incident is underway.

Munster are focusing on their visit to Galway on Saturday to face Connacht, but their support staff have been made aware of what is expected of them this week.

"Everyone knew that anyway, but we reiterated it to everyone as a good lesson for everyone. The fifteen players on the field are the fifteen players who can take part with anything on the field," the former Australia out-half said.

"It's all been dealt with.

"We've had a couple of good days in training now, we're very much focused on the weekend.

"Both parties have apologised for what went on and we're trying to move past it now. We've obviously agreed it's not something that was a great spectacle, but we're certainly moving on now. Everyone has apologised and we're moving forward."

Larkham said he was unaware of any internal disciplinary proceedings.

Meanwhile, Joey Carbery will step up his training this week ahead of his expected return against Leinster on December 28.

The out-half has not played since the Rugby World Cup and Larkham says he will not be rushed back if his ankle injury shows any ill-effects of the increased work load.

"We're fingers crossed every week, hoping that he's right to play," he said of Carbery.

"He's not fully training with us this week, but the good news is that everything has progressed and we will see him on the training park this week.

"Again, similar to the last time we spoke about Joey, it depends how he pulls up from those training sessions before we can assess whether he's available to play."

Meanwhile, Larkham said Munster hope to have Peter O'Mahony back sooner rather than later, but he confirmed that Tadhg Beirne is set for a long time on the sidelines.

"Peter is not playing this week anyway, as you know we have a strong agreement with the IRFU around resting players, for good reason," he said.

"Peter was going to be rested this week anyway, so he's going to be assessed later in the week, into early next week and we'll be a little bit clearer as to how long he's going to be out for.

"Tadhg, with an operation, is a longer term injury recovery process. We're still not sure until we get the report from the surgeon and see how he's progressed over the last couple of weeks. We can't make an assessment until then."

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