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Squad Update

6th January 2014 By Munster Rugby

It’s positive news on the injury front for Munster as Conor Murray and Simon Zebo return to squad training this week.

It’s positive news on the injury front for Munster as Conor Murray and Simon Zebo return to squad training this week.

The hard work done by both players in rehab and the expert help from the medical staff has allowed Murray and Zebo come back into contention.

Head Coach Rob Penney maintains hope that Murray will feature on Saturday, Penney said: “There is a chance [Murray will be involved v Gloucester]. Always was. Hopefully, everything being equal, and the work that’s being done by the medical team behind the scene comes to fruition this week.”

Murray returns ahead of schedule after just over four weeks out with medial ligament damage to his right knee, an injury he sustained against Perpignan at Thomond Park.

Zebo is back training after a 12-week absence caused by a cracked bone in his left foot – an injury picked up in the Heineken Cup opener against Edinburgh.

As expected, James Downey (irritated groin) and Keith Earls (bruised shoulder) are back training this week while Sean Dougall, who sustained a mild ankle sprain against Connacht, is expected to re-integrate into training at the end of the week.

James Cronin (lower back) and JJ Hanrahan (groin) will return to limited training early in the week and continue to be monitored as the week progresses.

Following on from the Ulster clash, the update on Donncha O’Callaghan, who was replaced after 30 minutes with a knee injury, is positive and he is expected to take part in training this week. Cathal Sheridan (knee) and Damien Varley (foot) will both undergo scans today and meet with a specialist in identifying their injury prognosis.

Aside from the players involved in the 29-19 defeat to Ulster on Friday night there were also numerous senior and academy players in club action at the weekend.

There were five Munster players involved as Young Munster beat Cork Constitution 16-10 at Temple Hill in Division 1A. Gerry Hurley and academy players Niall Kenneally, Johnny Holland and Rory Burke featured for Cork Con with academy scrum-half Brian Haugh kicking 11 points for Young Munster.

Garryowen were beaten 24-15 by St. Mary’s at Dooradoyle on Saturday despite the presence of Munster’s Barry O’Mahony and academy players Harry McNulty and Shane Buckley.

Dave O’Callaghan was in action for Dolphin as they went down 22-10 to Old Belvedere at home with academy player Darren Sweetnam scoring Dolphin’s first try. Fellow academy players Darren O’Shea, Cian Bohane and Rory Scannell also started.

In Division 1B, two academy players were involved with David Johnston kicking two conversions and Jack O’Donoghue also starting as UL Bohemians beat Blackrock College 24-21 at Stradbrook.

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