Sweetnam ruled out of Munster's New Year's Eve trip to Connacht

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

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Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

Sweetnam ruled out of Munster's New Year's Eve trip to Connacht

WINGER Darren Sweetnam has been ruled out of Munster’s trip to Connacht in the Guinness PRO12 on New Year’s Eve due to injury.

Sweetnam picked up the injury in table toppers Munster’s impressive bonus point win over Leinster at Thomond Park on St Stephen’s Day.

In-form winger Sweetnam, who sustained a knee injury just before half-time in that game, will undergo further investigation, requiring specialist opinion.

Sweetnam has started every game for Munster this season.

Meanwhile, although Sweetnam’s replacement Andrew Conway, finished the Leinster game, the winger reported an elbow injury. However, Conway’s injury is not as bad as first thought and will be reviewed following the squad training session at UL this Thursday.

The Round 12 clash with Pat Lam’s Connacht at the Sportsground on December 31 kicks-off at 5.30pm. The game is live on TG4.

On a positive note for Munster, Francis Saili showed no ill effects following his return to action and came through 20 minutes of rugby for the first time this season.

Academy prop Brian Scott (elbow) has also returned to full training after receiving the all clear following a scan last week.

Players currently unavailable for Munster are: Alex Wootton (shoulder), Sean McCarthy (knee), Mark Chisholm (concussion), Duncan Casey (knee), Mike Sherry (back), Cathal Sheridan (ankle).

With the five-day turnaround for the Connacht game, Munster’s preparations are well underway for the visit to the Sportsground on New Year's Eve.

In managing player welfare a number of the international contingent will be unavailable and due to the latest injury concerns Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus will be forced to make a number of changes for the encounter with the reigning PRO12 Champions.