Munster assessing Sweetnam's back, as Murray comes through unscathed

The southern province face a short turnaround before Friday’s clash against Edinburgh.

MUNSTER’S MEDICAL STAFF are assessing the back injury sustained by Darren Sweetnam during the winger’s abridged involvement in Ireland’s November Test victory over USA.

The Cork native was forced off during the first half at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, with Joe Schmidt confirming afterwards ‘he was struggling to run’ after reporting a tight back muscle.

Darren Sweetnam Sweetnam was withdrawn in the first half on Saturday. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

It was a disappointing end to Sweetnam’s third cap, and first international start in 12 months, as he was denied the opportunity to impress on the Ireland wing, with his withdrawal forcing Schmidt into a backline reshuffle.

Sweetnam has now returned to Munster to have the extent of the damage assessed but the southern province didn’t provide any further clarity on the injury ahead of Friday’s Pro14 clash against Edinburgh in Cork [KO 7.35pm, eir Sport/Premier Sport].

The good news for Munster is that Conor Murray and Chris Farrell both came through their respective returns unscathed, after the pair were introduced in the second half of Sunday’s victory over Zebre in Parma.

Murray reported no ill effects of his neck injury which had kept him sidelined since Ireland’s Test victory in Australia during the summer, while Farrell made his long-awaited comeback from a knee injury. 

Ronan O’Mahony and Conor Oliver also made their first appearances of the season for Johann van Graan’s side in Italy.

The Munster squad returned home this afternoon and face into a short turnaround ahead of the visit of Edinburgh to Musgrave Park, with preparations for the round 10 clash beginning in earnest on Tuesday.

Sunday’s bonus-point win ensured Munster remained in second place in Conference A, while Connacht’s impressive defeat of the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth moved the western province up to third. 

Connacht players applaud the fans Connacht recorded a 31-14 win on Sunday. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Connacht’s attention now turns to the second game of their South African tour, as they head to Bloemfontein to face the Cheetahs on Saturday [KO 1pm Irish time, eir Sport].

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“We have a six-day turn around there,” Andy Friend said.

“They are a quality side and they had a good win against Treviso on Saturday. We know that at altitude and with the heat it is going to be a tough one there, but we will make sure that we prepare properly and give our best account on Saturday.” 

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