MUNSTER will make a decision tomorrow, Thursday, on the fitness of injured captain Peter O’Mahony, winger Simon Zebo and hooker Duncan Casey ahead of Saturday’s crucial Guinness PRO12 semi-final showdown with Ospreys at Thomond Park, 2.30pm.
Captain O’Mahony missed the weekend win over Dragons with a hip injury, while Zebo was ruled out due to back spasms. Casey also missed the final game of the regular season with ‘mild back pain.’
Neither Zebo nor Casey participated in the contact part of training with the Munster squad at Saturday’s big-match venue Thomond Park on Tuesday. O’Mahony did some rehab running at the stadium.
Head coach Anthony Foley appeared quietly confident about the chances of Zebo and Casey being passed fit to play in Saturday’s game when speaking at a press conference at Thomond Park on Tuesday.
Coach Foley said: “Both Duncan Casey and Simon Zebo took part in training today, but not the contract part of training.
“Peter O’Mahony did his rehab running with Shea McAleer so we will know more on Thursday across the three of them.
“Peter is the captain of the side and we all want him to get there, but if it is not right for him to get there he will not be taking the field.
“It is important that we look after the lad as well but we will give him every opportunity to get in for the semi-final because he is a big player, he is one of our internationals.
“With Simon he didn’t do contact today, he will do it on Thursday. He is a lot fresher. Obviously the back spasms have calmed down and hopefully, he was moving pretty free today we just need to finish off his return to play protocols which will involve a certain amount of contact on Thursday.”
While Munster have been installed as short-price 4/9 favourites to win this weekend’s semi-final with the bookies and no away side has won a play-off games, coach Foley points to the fact that Ospreys completed a home-and-away PRO12 double over his charges in the regular season.
Foley said: “Look, they have a depth of experience of coming here and winning. Sitting down wondering who would we have wanted to play I was going like that every other team have their strengths and we all know each other pretty well.”
Saturday’s game will be refereed by Welsh official Nigel Owens. The game will be shown on TG4 as well as Sky Sports.