Munster’s Archer ruled out of Clermont game

Prop out for four or more weeks after dislocating wrist bone in recent defeat to Dragons

Munster head coach Rob Penney believes in his underdogs. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Munster head coach Rob Penney believes in his underdogs. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

 

Munster's Stephen Archer will miss the trip to France to face Clermont Auvergne in the Heineken Cup semi-final on Saturday.

The prop could also miss the final on May 18th, if Munster upset the odds in Montpellier, after dislocating a bone in his wrist during the RaboDirect PRO12 defeat to Dragons on Friday.

"He is looking at a four-plus week recovery period after dislocating a bone in his left wrist," read a Munster statement this evening.

Coach Rob Penney also has concerns over Peter O'Mahony (hip), Donncha O'Callaghan (knee), Keith Earls (hamstring), James Downey (hand) and Doug Howlett (shoulder), while Mike Sherry didn't train because at UL today because of tonsilitis.

The injury list is a daunting one but Penney remains optimistic his side can provide a shock come Saturday.

"There's no doubt Clermont are roaring hot favourites and we're underdogs," said the coach. "You can either thrive under that tag or wilt away. The best teams should be in the Heineken Cup at this stage and Clermont are certainly in that bracket.

"They've got real depth. We were going through their substitutes and you would be just wrapped to have them. They have an All Black 9, 10, 12 and 13 on the bench and Sitiveni (Sivivatu) starts on the wing. But we still have a lot of expectation from the Munster public and supporters, it's a double-edged sword.

"I don't want to say we believe we will beat them but we are going to go over there and give it a good crack. A game of rugby is such a dynamic one that on any given day an underdog can pull it off. It's 15 versus 15, we have a great referee in Nigel Owens and we just have to make sure we prepare well and perform."