Erasmus hopeful Irish duo will be available for Pro12 opener

MUNSTER DIRECTOR OF rugby Rassie Erasmus is hopeful that Irish internationals Dave Kilcoyne and Donnacha Ryan will be made available to him for their first Pro12 game of the season away to Scarlets.

So far, none of the four Munster players who travelled to South Africa for the summer tour have featured for the new Munster boss, and he is waiting on confirmation from Ireland coach Joe Schmidt as to the duo’s availability for the trip to Wales.

Simon Zebo, Tommy O’Donnell, Dave Foley, Ian Kealtey and James Cronin missed out on the summer tour and have already featured in the province’s final warm-up match against Worcester last weekend, but Erasmus is keen to further boost his options.

“Guys like Donnacha (Ryan) might be in the mix, Killer (Dave Kilcoyne) might be in the mix, but we want to make good decisions looking at the injuries.

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“We have to look at bumps and bruises, those kind of things. It might be a good thing looking at playing some of them off the bench or looking to give them more contact training sessions. We will know by Monday.”

Munster cruised to a 52-21 win over Donncha O’Callaghan’s Worcester on a night where provincial debuts were handed to new signing Jean Kleyn and academy product Alex Wootton, while Tyler Bleyendaal made his much awaited return from an eight-month quad injury lay-off with a convincing display.

But despite giving game-time to 39 players over their two games, Erasmus admitted he is on the look out for some experienced talent to boost his options in the centre, with All Black Francis Saili ruled out for up to four months through injury.

“Nothing confirmed. We are definitely looking at options to cover Francis Saili, experience wise. I think a guy like Dan Goggin and Colie O’Shea showed that they can play at this level, but it is a matter of getting an experienced head around them until Francis is ready again.

“There’s a lot of things that must go right for us to look at. The current options we are looking none have not been confirmed, there is some work to be still done there.”

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