Munster’s Conor Murray a major doubt for Connacht clash

26-year-old Ireland scrumhalf’s foot injury increases province’s worrying casualty list

Munster’s Robin Copeland during training yesterday at the University of Limerick ahead of Saturday’s game against Connacht. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Munster’s Robin Copeland during training yesterday at the University of Limerick ahead of Saturday’s game against Connacht. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

 

Conor Murray is a major doubt for Munster as they prepare for Saturday’s top of the Pro12 table clash with leaders Connacht at Thomond Park.

The Ireland scrumhalf has increased Munster’s casualty list after suffering a foot injury in the Champions Cup victory over Treviso the weekend before last.

Coach Anthony Foley, who already has an extended injury list, has not ruled him out of the contest, but admitted the 26-year old faces a race against time to be fit.

“He got a stamp on the foot in the Treviso game. He has a bruised foot, so it was prudent that he didn’t run today,” said Foley after training in Limerick on Tuesday.

“Anybody who doesn’t train on the Tuesday would be a doubt for the weekend, it’s about preparation and if you are not properly prepared you are only liable for more injury.

“We are trying to make sure fellas do a full week’s work before we play them.”

Second Captains

Foley said that captain Peter O’Mahony (knee) and hooker Duncan Casey (quad) both had successful surgery on Friday but it will be months before either are back in action.

And with Mike Sherry also out with a knee injury, Foley admitted they were thin on the ground with hookers.

Modified running

“Mike Sherry hasn’t trained but has done a bit of modified running, and we just want to see where he is at by the end of the week. Whether he is two, three weeks, four weeks we don’t know. It is all by feel . . .”

But while Foley has short-term issues at hooker he dismissed they had lined up a bid for Australia captain Stephen Moore amid speculation that their efforts were shot down by the IRFU.

“The Australian hooker, somebody said that to me. There isn’t anything in that. It has happened to us in the past around the media as well, where names are thrown out. Everything is done behind closed doors. We are not going to talk about it in the public anyway because it is not worth our while.”

Capabilities

“I would imagine there would be a lot of clubs that would love a player of his capabilities in their squad. We wouldn’t be saying no. It is probably not appropriate to talk about a player that we are probably going to face at the weekend, in the media on a Tuesday. So I will leave it there.

“The player is an international player, so he has got to make his own decisions. We are probably going to be playing against him at the weekend as I said. . .” He said they expect a tough encounter against Pat Lam’s men on Saturday when Connacht will bid to win at Thomond Park for the first time since 1986.

“They were excellent last season, they had a run in Europe as well and we probably got a taste of it in pre-season and they gave us a good trimming in Thomond Park. And from there they’ve done really well in the Pro12 and they’ve won their two European games. They’re going really well and fair play to them for the way they’re going about it.”

Meanwhile, two young Australia players, both of whom are Irish qualified, are on trial with Munster. Prop Rory O’Connor and scrumhalf Mike Kennedy, trained with the squad at University of Limerick on Tuesday.

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