Wednesday 17 January 2018

Ronan O’Gara told to get in tune for Scotland

Ronan O'Gara
Ronan O'Gara

John Fallon

Ireland coach Declan Kidney has told Ronan O'Gara to get game time this weekend for Munster in preparation for the crucial Six Nations clash with Scotland on Sunday week.

O'Gara trained with Munster in Limerick yesterday and is set to feature for them in their Pro12 clash away to Scarlets on Saturday evening.

Munster coach Rob Penney confirmed that O'Gara would play if requested, with Kidney laying out his plans for the trip to Murrayfield in the event that Jonathan Sexton will not be fit having suffered a hamstring injury in the 12-6 loss to England.

And it was noticeable that loosehead prop Dave Kilcoyne has not been released to train with Munster, with the Limerick man being lined up for the Scottish game amid fears that Cian Healy will receive a ban when he goes before the citing commissioner in London today.

Penney said O'Gara (right) was being pencilled in to play in Parc y Scarlets, but ultimately the decision would come from the Irish management.

"He's someone who would be keen to get some footie and we'll just wait for the word from above and if the Irish boys need game time and want to play, then they'll be selected," said the Munster coach.

Donncha O'Callaghan also trained with Munster at UL yesterday and looks set to travel to Wales.

Meanwhile, Penney said he was not holding out much hope that Simon Zebo would recover in time for their Heineken Cup quarter-final clash away to Harlequins on April 7.

"I wouldn't venture to guess, that's too tough an ask. We've been told 10 weeks, which would rule him out. I haven't been talking with him, I just flicked through messages over the text, but he'll be inundated, so we just wished him all the best with the operation and give him some space," said Penney.

However, the Munster boss expects him to bounce back and believes he will be on the plane to Australia with the Lions.

"There's plenty of football for him to prove himself yet. I think he has already proved himself as one of the best wingers in Europe and I'm sure they will be keen to take him," said Penney.

"Sport can be cruel but he's young, it is still a long season, so he has time to bounce back and it won't be too much of a hurdle for him."

Irish Independent

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