Keith Earls and James Cronin injury doubts for Munster's back-to-back dates with Leicester

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent, at UL


Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent, at UL


Keith Earls and James Cronin injury doubts for Munster's back-to-back dates with Leicester

Munster's Keith Earls, pictured here scoring against Leinster, will be sidelined for a number of weeks with a hamstring injury

MUNSTER winger Keith Earls and prop James Cronin are major injury doubts for the province’s crucial back-to-back European Champions Cup fixtures with Leicester Tigers due to injury.

Earls is continuing to rehab the hamstring injury he sustained while in camp with Ireland for the on-going autumn internationals. The Limerickman is ‘expected to be out for a number of weeks’, according to Munster.

Prop Cronin is rehabbing a calf muscle tear sustained while in action for the Barbarians earlier this month with the province revealing that he is ‘expected to return next month.’

Munster are due to face Leicester Tigers in the first of their back-to-back Champions Cup fixtures on Saturday, December 9 at Thomond Park, 7.45pm.

New Munster head coach Johann van Graan joined the province this week ahead of his first game in charge.

The squad started their preparations for Sunday’s Guinness PRO14 fixture with Zebre in Italy on Sunday (1.30pm Irish time) on their return to training last Wednesday.

Back-rower Jack O’Donoghue returns to training this week following a minor ankle injury sustained against Dragons earlier this month.

Winger Ronan O’Mahony returned to on-field training last week as he continues his return from a fractured fibula injury.

Munster indicate that scrum-half Duncan Williams has a shoulder niggle and Tyler Bleyendaal’s neck injury is progressing well, but the duo will both miss the weekend’s game in Parma.

Tommy O’Donnell (shoulder) will also miss the Zebre clash although he is reported to be progressing well with his rehab from an AC joint injury sustained in Ireland camp.

Continuing to rehab: Gerbrandt Grobler (ankle), Conor Oliver (shoulder), Dan Goggin (knee), Dave O’Callaghan (knee), Jaco Taute (knee), Niall Scannell (thumb).