Injury worry for Munster as Francis Saili may miss Leicester games
Anthony Foley hoping to retain services of Conor Murray, Simon Zebo and Keith Earls
Francis Saili takes on Bundee Aki during Munster’s loss to Connacht: Saili may miss next two Champions Cup matches. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
The 24-year-old is awaiting the results of a scan that he went for yesterday afternoon and now looks unlikely to feature next Sunday in Rodney Parade.
Scrumhalf Conor Murray, who missed the loss to Connacht with a bruised foot, is unlikely to be risked in Newport either as he battles to get back for the key European games.
“Conor is a tough bit of stuff so he understands that he’s got a goal in his own head for what he wants to be back for and normally when a player has that they are not too far away from it.
“Donnacha Ryan has a bang on the ribs. BJ Botha took a bang to the head. We have a couple of fellas who are ill, Andrew Conway and Jack O’Donoghue, and didn’t train today. We have a few like that so we will have to wait and see.”
Foley is hoping that hooker Mike Sherry (knee) and Tyler Bleyendaal (quad), both who trained fully yesterday, should be available for the trip to Rodney Parade.
Meanwhile, Foley remains confident of holding on to his Irish stars Murray, Simon Zebo and Keith Earls after securing the future of CJ Stander for the next two years. Foley said there were no developments with the trio – amid new rumours yesterday that Zebo was to sign for Pau in France – but it was an ongoing process.
“That is all being done in the background. I don’t have any news on that at the moment. It’s progressing,” the Munster coach said.
He said nailing down Stander, who is now Irish-qualified, for the next two seasons sent out a positive message.
“For him to commit to Munster rugby for two more seasons after this is good for everyone concerned. It’s a good boost for everyone involved in Munster that one of our best players is staying. I think it is something that lays down a marker for everyone else.”
His primary concern at the moment is getting his side back to winning ways away to Dragons on Sunday following their 18-12 home loss to Connacht at the weekend. Foley said they needed to bounce back after the loss to Connacht.
“It’s been a tough few days. We started the game very poorly against Connacht and we didn’t get any possession for the first half – I think it was 70-30 at half-time – we were lucky to be just five points down,” he said.
“We came out in the second half and reversed the trend, and I think we ended up being 66 per cent in the second half but what probably cost us getting up over the 70 per cent were turnovers in their 22.”
Foley highlighted a string of errors which cost them dearly.
“We go into contact and they come away with the ball and then from there we end up in our own 22 and they were down to 14 men at the time and it was only a one-point game, “ Foley said.
“It’s stuff like that, as they say, are coach-killers.”