Injury concerns for Munster ahead of clash with Saracens in Champions Cup semi-final

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Updated: April 20, 2017
Thomond Park 2017

Munster rugby fans face an anxious wait this week ahead of their European Champions Cup semi-final clash with Saracens in Dublin next Saturday as the team’s injury list continues to grow.

Saturday’s hard earned 22-20 victory over Ulster in the Guinness Pro12, a win which confirmed Munster’s qualification for the semi-finals of the four-nation competition, came at the expense of a number of injuries. according to many bitcoin sports betting companies Munster are the 6/4 outsiders for the match.

Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus confirmed that Rory Scannell, who limped off with an ankle injury during the game at Thomond Park, is a major worry for his side, stating: “I think it’s pretty serious.”

Some of Munster’s Irish internationals, Conor Murray and CJ Stander have missed some game time in recent weeks, and although Murray is said to be going in the right direction regarding a return to action, it seems he is losing his race against time to be fit for next weekend, with Erasmus saying: “Conor, I’m not sure. He’s not healing like we would have liked him to heal.”

South African-born Stander feels he is ready to return for the visit of the Premiership club to the Aviva Stadium, with Erasmus confirming that Stander “ is relatively good.”

Munster winger Darren Sweetnam took an early knock to the head in the clash with Ulster and went for a HIA check, but failed this, as was replaced by Andrew Conway. The Corkman will now have to go through the return to action protocols this week and hope he can prove his fitness for the clash with Saracens.

Duncan Williams, who has played at scrum-half in recent weeks due to Conor Murray’s shoulder injury, was named early last Friday to start against the Ulstermen, but sustained a groin injury in the captain’s run. He is expected to start against Saracens, however, suggesting that his withdrawal from the Ulster game was possibly precautionary in view of the European semi-final.

Tyler Bleyendaal, a key figure for Munster all season at out-half, returned to action from a head injury for the province, albeit off the bench rather than as a starter as had been announced on Friday. Munster’s Director of Rugby has tried to allay fears about the New Zealander’s availability for the trip to Dublin, explaining that Bleyendaal had suffered from a tummy bug last week and hadn’t felt well the morning of the Ulster clash.

Munster will play Saracens in the European Champions Cup semi-final at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday with a 3.15 p.m. kick-off. The game will be live on BT Sport.

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