Munster boost as Erasmus upbeat over Zebo and Kleyn

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

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Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

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Munster boost as Erasmus upbeat over Zebo and Kleyn

Munster's Diector of Rugby Rassie Erasmus

MUNSTER Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus issued an upbeat report on the chances of both Simon Zebo and Jean Kleyn recovering from injury in time to play in Sunday’s Champions Cup opener in France.

Munster open their Pool 4 campaign against the French Top 14's eleventh-placed side Castres Olympique at Stade Pierre Fabre this Sunday, 1pm Irish time, live on Sky Sports.

Munster were without the services of experienced second row Kleyn, due to a neck injury, and utility back Zebo, troubled by an infected knee, for Saturday’s Pro14 defeat to Leinster at the Aviva Stadium.

However, Erasmus is confident both players will be fit for this weekend’s trip to France.

He said: “Simon looks good. I think he will be available this weekend. Last week he came through two of the training sessions and did pretty okay, so I think he's good to go.

“Jean Kleyn is positive. I think there is a 70 per cent chance if he gets through the whole week, he will be good to go. There is doubt still but I think he will be good to go.”

Erasmus was adamant that Munster’s failings in Saturday’s interpro derby with Leinster was mainly due to discipline issues rather than a lack of intensity.

Munster flanker Peter O’Mahony bristled when he was asked about the team’s intensity levels during a TG4 post match interview with former Leinster player Reggie Corrigan after Saturday’s game.

Rassie Erasmus said: “I also saw the clip afterwards (of the interview). I did not know the line of the question was at the moment. 

“But, look, that is the way Pete feels, most teams go to Leinster - Northampton got 50 put on them last year - they smash most teams there, so for us to go there, we experimented with a few things in the game, we lost by six points, conceded 11 penalties, I really don't think it was a matter of intensity, it was maybe a matter of discipline.

“Obviously, if Pete feels that way about it, we look at our GPS stats and we look at the effort the players put in and it was definitely not through a lack of intensity.” 

Captain Rodrigo Capo Ortega and experienced scrum-half Rory Kockott are expected to return for Castres on Sunday following a Top 14 defeat to Brive.