JJ Hanrahan a doubt for Munster’s Champions Cup opener
Injury leaves room for New Zealand born Tyler Bleyendaal to start against Ospreys
Munster’s JJ Hanrahan is set to miss the weekend’s Champions Cup clash with Ospreys. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho
Munster outhalf JJ Hanrahan is a doubt for his province as they face into their first European Champions Cup match of the season against Ospreys at the weekend. Hanrahan injured his hamstring against Ulster at the weekend with coach Johann van Graan unprepared to make a final call on his fitness until later this week.
His injury leaves room for New Zealand born Tyler Bleyendaal to come in to start against the Welsh side in Liberty Stadium. The 29-year-old Bleyendaal finished out Munster’s win over Ulster in the derby meeting in Thomond Park last weekend.
Van Graan is also likely to be without Chris Cloete for the trip to Swansea. The South African flanker was still suffering from HIA symptoms on Monday and is unlikely to be available for Saturday’s match.
Dave Kilcoyne is another casualty and will miss the European opener. The Irish prop injured himself in a scrum during training and is likely to be missing for a number of weeks.
“You start away (from home), it would be great if you can get some points away from home,” said van Graan.
“We discussed as a group that the previous two years. We started with a draw away, two years ago at Castres, then last year Exeter. All the games in this competition are incredibly tough and hopefully we can perform well on Saturday and the performance will lead to a win.”
Van Graan was reticent about the fitness of Joey Carbery saying only that the Munster medical staff were taking it day by day with the Irish outhalf.