MUNSTER return to RaboDirect PRO12 action against the Scarlets at Musgrave Park this Sunday, with recently arrived South African flanker, CJ Stander in line to make his debut.
Stander had been with the Munster squad since he ended his commitment to the Blue Bulls following their Currie Cup semi-final defeat to the Sharks in Durban at the end of last month. The 22-year-old has joined the province on a two-year contract.
Stander was previously South African Schools captain and Under 20 wing forward. The dynamic ball carrier played 13 times and scored four tries for the Bulls in his first season playing Super 15 rugby.
Munster coach Rob Penney said lock Paul O’Connell was ‘still a wee way away’ from full fitness. O’Connell continues to rehabilitate a bulging disc in his back. The 33-year-old remains a doubt for Munster’s Heineken Cup pool match with Saracens at Thomond Park on Saturday, December 8.
While CJ Stander’s arrival is a timely boost for Munster head coach, Penney who has a number of injury concerns over back-row players. Tommy O’Donnell has been troubled by an ankle injury sustained in last week’s ‘A’ Interprovincial win over Leinster.
While Sean Dougall and Barry O’Mahony remain on the injured list, openside flanker Niall Ronan has recovered from a groin injury. James Coughlan also took a full part in Munster’s training session at CIT this Wednesday.
Fourth-placed Munster are looking to make it 16 games unbeaten against the Scarlets in all competitions on Sunday. Sunday’s game, which has a 5.15pm kick-off time, will be televised live on TG4.