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Crowley and Flannery hope for Munster chances over festive inter-pro season

The academy out-halves could be set for opportunities after Ben Healy’s injury.

Flannery and Crowley will be hoping for chances in the coming weeks.
Flannery and Crowley will be hoping for chances in the coming weeks.

BEN HEALY HAS been sidelined by an unfortunate shoulder injury for now, but Munster still have some talented young out-halves ready to be given a shot at senior level.

Earlier this year, Jack Crowley was starring for the Ireland U20s before their bid for a Grand Slam was cut short by Covid-19 and he hasn’t really been seen on the pitch since.

The Bandon man is waiting for his senior Munster debut and has had to make do with a couple of A team appearances in recent months, which have come at inside centre rather than his natural role in the number 10 shirt. 

His fellow academy man, Jake Flannery, has been at out-half in those games and is another talented playmaker, having shown his potential in the Ireland U20s’ Grand Slam success in 2019.

Flannery did make his senior Munster debut earlier this year before Covid hit but hasn’t featured yet since the restart. 

Instead, it has been Healy, who is also still in the academy, who has been grabbing the headlines. He has taken every opportunity he has been handed to the extent that he has attracted an offer from Glasgow Warriors.

However, Healy’s shoulder injury might now open the door for Crowley or Flannery to get game time during the festive inter-pros.

JJ Hanrahan is the senior out-half, while Rory Scannell is expected to cover the position against Clermont in the Champions Cup this weekend.

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But Joey Carbery won’t be back from his ankle injury in the short-term, meaning the academy youngsters will be pushing for minutes later this month.

“Both those guys, Jake and Jack, they’re playing the A games, so they played Ulster A last weekend,” said Munster senior coach Stephen Larkham.

“Jake played 10 and Jack played 12 so they’re going to find some time there again this weekend

“They’ll play Leinster A this weekend and we’re going to try and get a bit of time for both of them in there at 10 and 12 over these two weekends.”

It remains to be seen which of Munster’s young out-halves hits the greatest heights in the game but there is certainly plenty of excitement about Crowley getting a senior debut.

“He has been progressing, he’s doing everything that’s been asked of him and he’s somebody that takes everything on board, he takes all the information in and he’s very quick at changing things as well,” said Larkham.

“What I’ve noticed about Jack is that if you told him something yesterday morning, then he’ll go home that night and he’ll work on it and he’ll come back today and it’s already embedded in his system.

“So he’s going to get a good chance this weekend to play another 80 minutes [for Munster A] and on the back of that we’ll see whether he gets a selection for us or not.”

About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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