Erasmus confident O'Mahony can shake off back injury

Munster captain expected to lead his side against Leicester in Champions Cup

Rassie Erasmus at Munster training in Limerick on Monday. Photograph: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Rassie Erasmus at Munster training in Limerick on Monday. Photograph: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

 

Rassie Erasmus is confident that captain Peter O’Mahony can shake off a back injury to lead his side against Leicester Tigers in the Champions Cup on Saturday.

O’Mahony has complained of a stiff back after he was withdrawal after 57 minutes of his side’s Guinness Pro12 win against Glasgow last weekend, but his coach is hopeful the Ireland back-row can feature in the Thomond Park clash.

South African centre Jaco Taute (ribs) and Duncan Williams (shoulder) both picked up knocks in that win at Scotstoun, but Erasmus is confident he will have all three available.

“Injuries, since Saturday, just Peter. Peter O’Mahony has a little bit of a stiff back,” said Erasmus. “The other concern was Jaco Taute, just bumps and bruises on the ribs. The other guys that played, Duncan Williams got a little bit of a shoulder but none of them should be a doubt for this weekend.”

Erasmus confirmed that Tyler Bleyendaal’s ankle issue had improved after he sat out last weekend, while the arrival of Francis Saili on the training pitch for the first time this season is a timely boost.

Taute has been a vital cog in the Munster midfield since Saili’s injury, but with him set to depart the province on December 31st, Saili’s return is welcomed.

“We want to keep him [Taute] but he was only a replacement for Francis and is definitely going on.

Leinster game

“Tyler should be fit,” he said. “Last weekend there was a bit of a niggle so that’s why we took him out of it. He’ll be available.

“And then obviously Earlsy and the other international guys, Zeebs, all of those guys will be available this weekend.”

Donnacha Ryan returned as a replacement last weekend, but Earls, Zebo, CJ Stander and Conor Murray are expected to slot straight into the team for the arrival of Tigers.

Internationals

“I think the moment you run out for a game like this the intensity just ups because you’re playing against internationals, whereas sometimes in the Pro12 there’s fewer international players and there are some weaknesses.

“When you get into Europe there are very few weaknesses in the opposition so I guess the intensity levels are up and the room for mistakes will be much less. So our intensity levels will be the thing to take another step up this weekend.”

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