Friday 27 April 2018

O'Mahony defends dope cheat Grobler

 

Gerbrandt Grobler during Munster training at the University of Limerick. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Gerbrandt Grobler during Munster training at the University of Limerick. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Rúaidhrí O'Connor

Munster rolled out the big guns yesterday as the debate over convicted doper Gerbrandt Grobler continued, with Peter O'Mahony saying that he and the players were standing behind the South African.

The second-row, who could make his senior debut for the Irish province in their crucial European Champions Cup pool decider against Castres on Sunday, served a two-year ban from 2014 to 2016 after testing positive for an anabolic steroid.

The 25-year-old admitted his guilt and served his ban, returning to the sport with Racing 92. He played against Munster in last season's meeting between the sides, before joining the Reds on a one-year deal last summer.

He has yet to make a senior appearance having injured his ankle in the pre-season friendly against Worcester. He was available for selection for the first time last week and played for the 'A' side against Nottingham and since recovering from surgery his presence in the squad has been the subject of much discussion after coach Johann van Graan spoke about him last week.

References

"Look, I can only speak from my point of view and the players' point of view that as far as we're concerned, 'GG', he's done his time. He's done his two years from WADA and the Rugby Players' Association," said O'Mahony.

Peter O'Mahony during a Munster Rugby press conference at the University of Limerick. Photo: Aaron Greene/Sportsfile
Peter O'Mahony during a Munster Rugby press conference at the University of Limerick. Photo: Aaron Greene/Sportsfile

"He'd played 20 games or whatever for Racing, then we signed him obviously on good terms, good references that we got, as we do for all our signings and he's come here, he's struggled with injury and he's been a great guy to have around the place.

"He's working very diligently on his rehab and he's struggled a little bit mentally at times with that, because he obviously wants to come and play, which is what every rugby player wants to do. As far as me and the other players are concerned, he's been great for us and we'll certainly stand by him. As far as we're concerned, he's done his time and that's the end of it."

Conor Murray also denied that Grobler's presence in the squad sends out the wrong message.

O'Mahony is Munster's main injury doubt for Sunday after he injured his ankle against Racing but Van Graan believes he'll be fit.

Subscribe to The Left Wing, Independent.ie's Rugby podcast, with Luke Fitzgerald and Will Slattery for the best discussion and analysis each week. From in depth interviews with some of Irish rugby's biggest stars to unmatched insights into the provinces and the national team, The Left Wing has all your rugby needs covered.

Listen and subscribe to The Left Wing on iTunes and Soundcloud

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport