Munster's Bleyendaal and Scannell 'pretty doubtful' for Racing test

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

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Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

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Munster's Bleyendaal and Scannell 'pretty doubtful' for Racing test

Munster hooker Niall Scannell pictured at a squad training session at UL on Tuesday

MUNSTER Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus fears the province will be without both out-half Tyler Bleyendaal and hooker Niall Scannell for Saturday’s Champions Cup fixture with Racing 92 at Thomond Park, 5.30pm.

Byeyendaal was due to have a scan on a neck injury picked up against Castres Olympique in the opening round Champions Cup fixture in France on Sunday, while Scannell had a scan on a thumb injury sustained in the same game.

Speaking at Munster’s weekly press briefing at UL on Tuesday, Munster Director of Rugby, Rassie Erasmus said: “They are going for scans today (Tuesday) and that will be analysed but both of them are pretty doubtful.

“It is a big worry to potentially be missing those guys, especially when you think of Tyler. We were already missing Taute and Dan Goggin who played a lot for us last year. That’s outside centre and inside centre, Tyler was covering at centre for us as well.

“But it creates some opportunities for other guys. Niall is currently in Irish focus for a national call up so that is the quality that he is. But we have got five good hookers in the club, so I am optimistic that we will be okay.”

New Zealand hooker Rhys Marshall is in line to make his full Champions Cup debut in Saturday’s game after coming off the bench in Sunday’s draw with Castres.

Munster also have injury concerns over South African second row Jean Kleyn who has been troubled with a neck injury for the visit of the French Top 14 side to Limerick.

Erasmus added: “It’s obviously not as serious as Conor Murray’s injury was.

“But it’s the same kind of thing that you wait a little bit for that to calm down. If all of the symptoms go away and you push him a little bit too early it will be a long lay-off. So we won’t be selfish now. It’s 50-50 for this weekend.”

Munster’s new signing Chris Cloete has joined up with the squad in Limerick but the back-row forward will not feature in the Champions Cup tie this weekend.