Tuesday 25 June 2019

Van Graan backs Arnold to fill Farrell void

Munster head coach Johann Van Graan. Photo: Sportsfile
Munster head coach Johann Van Graan. Photo: Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Munster are sweating over the severity of Chris Farrell's quad injury after the centre was sent for further scans yesterday.

Farrell has been ruled out of Munster's Champions Cup clash in Castres on Saturday evening (5.30) and Johann van Graan is hopeful that the centre isn't facing another prolonged spell out.

The Ireland international had only just returned from eight-and-a-half months on the sidelines following a serious knee injury, before he suffered a fresh setback in the build-up to last week's home win over Castres.

"It definitely didn't get worse because he hasn't run again," Van Graan explained.

"We will be sending him for some further, let's call it, scans.

"He won't make this weekend. I don't think it is serious in (terms of) a lot of weeks, but it is still pretty early to say, but I foresee him to be not available for a bit of time."

Sammy Arnold is expected to continue in midfield, with Van Graan admitting that he has already seen improvements in the 22-year-old's game since he won his first Ireland cap against the USA last month.

"He has really developed and become comfortable within the team. The fact that he got his first international cap, he brings a certain amount of calmness," the Munster boss said.

"He will be the first to admit that he has such a long way to go.

"I think he is working on the small puzzles of his game so much."

Munster are also set to be boosted by the return of Joey Carbery, should he come through this week unscathed.

The out-half felt a twinge in his hamstring last weekend and was withdrawn before kick-off.

In further positive news, Chris Cloete passed his HIA, while Stephen Archer, Tommy O'Donnell, Stephen Fitzgerald, Jean Kleyn and Liam O'Connor are back in training following their respective knocks.

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