In a timely and significant boost for Munster going into Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final week, head coach Johann van Graan has strongly suggested that outhalf Joey Carbery will be fit to face Edinburgh in Murrayfield next Saturday (kick-off 12.45).
Carbery hasn't played since Ireland's win at the same venue six weeks ago - when he set up the match-winning try for Keith Earls - due to a hamstring tear. But his anticipated return, along with Chris Farrell's 35 minute appearance off the bench in last Saturday's win over Zebre at Thomond Park, means van Graan could be in a position to name the same team which secured their quarter-final place with that 9-7 win over Exeter 10 weeks ago bar the sidelined Tommy O'Donnell.
Carbery kicked three penalties out of three that day, and after being sidelined from Ireland's final three games in the Guinness Six Nations, van Graan said on Monday: "He'll be reintegrated into training this afternoon and we'll see how it goes, but I'm confident he'll be ready for Saturday. He wants to play and wants to be fine, so hopefully, he's available."
Van Graan’s hand has been further strengthened by Tyler Bleyendaal’s performance off the bench against Zebre.
“I thought Tyler did really well from the bench at the weekend, we’ve got four quality flyhalves with Tyler, JJ (Hanrahan) and Bill (Johnston). We’ll see how the week goes, there’s still one or two 50-50s, but I’m delighted for Tyler at the way he played on Saturday.”
The Munster squad, with their Irish contingent back in harness, trained at the High Performance Centre in UL on Monday afternoon and, with no new injury concerns arising from the Zebre game, the only players ruled out are Brian Scott (foot), James Cronin (leg) and O'Donnell (shoulder). The latter's absence is offset by Jack O'Donoghue's eye-catching return against Zebre.