Munster coach Johann van Graan issues Conor Murray injury update

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent, Thomond Park

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Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent, Thomond Park

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ckinsella@limerickleader.ie

Munster coach Johann van Graan issues Conor Murray injury update

Munster scrum-half Conor Murray picks up a knock in the warm-up before Saturday night's Guinness Pro14 clash with Connacht at Thomond Park

MUNSTER head coach Johann van Graan has issued an injury update on scrum-half Conor Murray who was a late cry-off for Saturday night's Guinness Pro14 victory over Connacht at Thomond Park.

Murray picked up a knock in the pre-game warm-up and was replaced by another Limerick man Neil Cronin in Munster's starting team.

The change at scrum-half resulted in Ireland U20 international Craig Casey coming onto the replacements' bench for the game.

Twenty year-old Shannon clubman and former Ardscoil Ris star Casey, a member of the Munster Academy, made his senior debut for the province when introduced as a second half replacement.

Asked if he believed Murray would be fit to start against Benetton Rugby in next Saturday's Guinness Pro14 quarter-final play-off at Thomond Park, 3pm, head coach Johann van Graan said: "It's too early to say.

"He got a knock in the warm-up and a bit of stiffness, and we decided not to take any risks." 

Van Graan added: "He literally got a knock with the last breakdown of the warm-up. It happened literally seven or eight metres away from me. 

"We got the medical team involved and we made the decision not to play him. He could possibly have played, but we decided to err on the side of caution. 

"We will give some more info on Monday. It is just very stiff at this stage. That is all I can say.

"Neil Cronin found out he was starting literally when we got into the dressing room (after the warm-up), about four minutes before he got on the field. I had to make a quick decision, do you take a risk, decided against it and pulled Conor.

"He wanted to play and I decided not to take a risk and then with Neil on, it was a fantastic evening for Craig, he was just with the squad to experience the first team for the first time.

"I said, Craig, are you ready to go and he said, coach, I am 100% ready to go and he got his first chance for Munster.

"It was purely by chance he was in with us tonight."

Van Graan added: "With Joey Carbery, like I said, we'll will take it day by day and as soon as he becomes available we will let you know. The same with Earlsie (Keith Earls). We rested a few guys tonight and will give a further update on Monday."