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Dublin: 4 °C Thursday 24 January, 2019

Young flanker to undergo surgery ahead of Munster's Pro14 opener

Conor Oliver is set for a spell on the sidelines due to a shoulder injury sustained in pre-season.

Conor Oliver receiving the man-of-the-match award following Munster's win over Glasgow Warriors in April.
Conor Oliver receiving the man-of-the-match award following Munster's win over Glasgow Warriors in April.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

MUNSTER ARE SET to be without promising flanker Conor Oliver for the early stages of the 2017-18 season.

Ahead of Friday night’s Guinness Pro14 opener against Benetton Treviso, the southern province confirmed this afternoon that Oliver will need to undergo surgery on a shoulder injury he sustained in pre-season.

While Munster didn’t mention the likely length of his absence in today’s squad update, it’s a big blow nevertheless to the 21-year-old Dubliner.

After being voted player of the year in Munster’s academy at the end of last season, Oliver was promoted to the senior squad for the current campaign. He spent two years in the academy, having previously played for Leinster up to U20 level.

Oliver featured regularly four Munster last season, making 15 appearances — including a man-of-the-match performance in last April’s win over Glasgow Warriors — and scoring four tries.

His injury isn’t Munster’s only back-row concern for Friday’s visit of the Italians. Tommy O’Donnell is also doubtful as he follows the return-to-play protocols after sustaining a knock to the head in last Thursday’s pre-season win against Worcester Warriors.

South African lock Gerbrandt Grobler, one of Munster’s new signings, could also be set to miss out on Friday. He requires a scan for the ankle injury he picked up in Worcester.

There was better news for Robin Copeland and Kevin O’Byrne, both of whom will return to full training this week after overcoming their respective shoulder and groin problems.

JJ Hanrahan (shoulder), Sam Arnold (calf), Duncan Casey (groin), Ronan O’Mahony (fibula), Dave O’Callaghan (knee) and Darren O’Shea (shoulder) continue to follow their own recovery programmes.

Munster director of rugby Rassie Erasmus will name his side to face Treviso at midday on Thursday.

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Paul Dollery

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