Anthony Foley has no long-term worries over Conor Murray’s latest concussion

Scrumhalf Tomás O’Leary continuing his recovery from a groin injury

New Munster signing Mark Chisholm during training at the University of Limerick. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

New Munster signing Mark Chisholm during training at the University of Limerick. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

 

Munster coach Anthony Foley said he is not concerned long-term about Irish scrumhalf Conor Murray picking up a third concussion in a year at the weekend.

Foley said that every precaution is taken when a player shows concussion symptoms.

“It’s the way the game is going at the moment. I haven’t seen the incident so I can’t really comment on it. You know it’s obviously a concern, but I saw a quote saying that if it was a competitive game that they’d have brought him back on.

“But it was a friendly match and they wanted to get time into Eoin Reddan anyway and they left him off, to be sure to be sure,” said Foley.

Closer to home he is keeping an eye on the well-being of another scrumhalf, with former Irish international Tomás O’Leary set this weekend to take another step towards making his first competitive appearance for his native province since his return from London Irish.

The 31-year-old is recovering from a groin injury and is set to play for Dolphin this weekend and should be available when the Pro 12 resumes next month.

Foley confirmed that new signing Mark Chisholm, whose work permit came through last week, could be in the mix this weekend when they head to play Ospreys at Liberty Stadium on Sunday.

The former Australian international, brought in from Bayonne as Munster try to fill the void left by Paul O’Connell’s move to Toulon, has been training with his new team-mates since he arrived and is included in an extended 32-man squad for the trip to Wales.

“He is in the squad for this weekend. We need to see where he is at. We need to keep challenging him and where he is at, in terms of our information and making sure, he is fully up to speed fitness-wise,” said Foley.

Another new signing, Kiwi centre Francis Saili, could also make his competitive bow this weekend in Swansea. Capped twice by the All Blacks, the 24-year old suffered a concussion in the pre-season friendly against London Irish.

“Francis is on the back end of his protocols at the moment so hopefully he has no fallback from where he’s at at the moment. Again, he was announced in the squad this morning,” added Foley.

However, the Munster coach said it remains to be seen how long it will be before winger Ronan O’Mahony returns from a troublesome Osteitis Pubis injury. “It’s a piece of string. I was told four weeks but that was 15 weeks ago!”

Meanwhile, Foley welcomed the decision to announce a venue at this stage for the Pro12 final next May and believes that the long lead-in will ensure a memorable occasion in Edinburgh.

“I think from the venue’s point of view they need to get ready, get the promotions and get set for it. I think I was a bit sceptical about Kingspan Stadium last season.

“I thought it was a good day and I thought it brought a lot of uniqueness to it and hopefully Murrayfield will do the same now. Murrayfield, if you’re going to an Ireland-Scotland game it’s a great place to go to, you’re on the edge of the city and it’s just a walk back into town. So I think it will be an attractive venue at the end of May for people to go, and go and watch a good game of rugby.”

On Sunday he will bring his team to Swansea for what he hopes will be the second step in ensuring Munster are involved in Scotland when the first Pro12 final takes place outside Ireland.

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