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Wednesday 18 September 2019

Munster boss Foley rejects IRFU rift claim as he admits Robbie Henshaw interest

Robbie Henshaw is of interest to Anthony Foley (inset)
Robbie Henshaw is of interest to Anthony Foley (inset)
Munster head coach Anthony Foley
David Kelly

David Kelly

Munster "wouldn't say no" to the signing of Robbie Henshaw when he pens his next contract as Anthony Foley shot down reports of a rift between his province and the IRFU over the reported recruitment of Australian captain Stephen Moore.

While Leinster remain the odds-on favourites to capture the 22-year-old Connacht star, Munster remain privately miffed that they have been seemingly overlooked as an option for the gifted centre to pursue a career he this week confirmed he wants to continue in Ireland.

However, Foley is understandably reluctant to be bullish on the matter this week as Munster and Connacht prepare for Saturday's top-of-the-table Pro12 clash in Thomond Park.

"I would imagine there would be a lot of clubs that would love a player of his capabilities in their squad," said Foley. "We wouldn't be saying no. It is probably not appropriate to talk about a player, that we are probably going to face at the weekend, in the media on a Tuesday.

"The player is an international player, so he has got to make his own decisions.

"We are probably going to be playing against him at the weekend as I said. I don't really want to talk about one of Pat Lam's players."

The IRFU would have to be involved in any discussions about a potential switch.

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However, Munster's cause will not have been damaged about a recently-reported rift with the IRFU about the signing of former Australian captain Stephen Moore - because it never happened.

"There isn't anything in that," confirmed Foley. "It has happened us in the past around the media as well, where names are thrown out.

"Everything is done behind closed doors. We are not going to talk about it in the public anyway because it is not worth our while."

Meanwhile, Irish scrum-half Conor Murray will not be risked ahead of Munster's crucial back-to-back European ties against Leicester Tigers as he recovers from a bruised bone in his foot.

Long-term casualties Peter O'Mahony and Duncan Casey underwent successful surgery last Friday as they begin their bid to target returns for the business end of the season next spring.

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