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'Our squad depth got tested today': Munster adapt after injury withdrawals

Joey Carbery and Chris Farrell were due to start, but hamstring and thigh issues took them out of contention against Castres.

Chris Farrell in the tunnel after being withdrawn from the starting line-up.
Chris Farrell in the tunnel after being withdrawn from the starting line-up.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Sean Farrell reports from Thomond Park

MUNSTER HEAD COACH Johann van Graan will hope for a positive report from his medical team tomorrow morning after a double injury blow before kick-off against Castres this afternoon.

Both Joey Carbery and Chris Farrell were withdrawn and replaced in Munster’s starting line-up ahead of a messy 30-5 win that sent them back to the top of Heineken Champions Cup Pool 2.

“We made a call at the latest possible hour,” says the South African of Carbery, who was nursing “a very tight hamstring” in the days approaching kick-off.

Whether the pair will be available for the return fixture next weekend will depend on an assessment tomorrow.

“Chris is more difficult to say because it literally happened in the warm-up. We’ll give it over to our medical team. It will be a short week, turning around to play again on Saturday.”

Despite the changes enforced by muscle issues for key players, Munster dominated the meeting with the French champions, who showed no interest in taking the game to their hosts until the closing minutes.

Though errors in line-out and phaseplay stunted Munster’s attack, Van Graan was pleased to see his altered side succeed in testing conditions and under intense defensive pressure.

“It’s not ideal, but that’s why you have a squad. Our squad depth got tested today, both at 10 and 13. Glad JJ stepped up so well and Sammy (Arnold) and Jaco (Taute) came straight into the team.

“Credit to our mindset, it doesn’t matter what happens, we’ve just got to adapt and I’m very happy with that.”

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Sean Farrell

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