CONOR OLIVER WON’T play for Munster again in 2017.
Having revealed earlier this week that the young flanker required surgery on a shoulder injury sustained in pre-season, Munster confirmed this afternoon that the 21-year-old will be out of action until the new year.
It’s a significant blow to both player and province ahead of Munster’s Guinness Pro14 opener against Benetton Treviso at Musgrave Park tomorrow night.
With Robin Copeland providing cover from the bench, academy product Sean O’Connor has been handed his debut in the back row alongside Tommy O’Donnell and Jack O’Donoghue for the visit of the Italians to Cork.
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.
Elsewhere, new signing Gerbrandt Grobler is to see a specialist next week after picking up an ankle injury in last week’s pre-season game against Worcester Warriors.
The 25-year-old South African lock, who arrived from Racing 92 in the summer, hobbled off during the 35-26 win at Sixways seven days ago.
Munster will also be without Irish international prop James Cronin for the opening rounds of the Guinness Pro14 after he underwent a knee scope.