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Argentinian international Guinazu joins Munster on short-term contract

The 36-times capped hooker will provide cover in a position where the province have been injury-hit.

Guinazu [carrying the ball] in action against Wales in 2013.
Guinazu [carrying the ball] in action against Wales in 2013.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

MUNSTER HAVE ANNOUNCED the signing of Argentina international hooker Eusebio Guinazu on a four-month contract.

The 32-year-old will join the province later this month, pending the completion of a medical and after obtaining a work permit.

Guinazu – who has won 36 caps for Argentina – provides Munster with additional cover at hooker, with Mike Sherry having been ruled out until January after a shoulder operation.

That injury had left Anthony Foley’s squad with Duncan Casey, Niall Scannell and Damien Varley as their remaining professionally contracted hookers. Casey has just returned from injury, Scannell is recovering from a wrist problem at present, while Varley is currently sidelined with a foot issue.

UL Bohemians hooker Kevin O’Byrne started last Friday’s friendly win over London Irish in Waterford.

Guinazu joins Munster after two seasons with Premiership side Bath, where he made a total of eight league appearances. The front row previously played for French clubs Biarritz, Toulouse, Toulon and Agen, as well as Super Rugby outfit the Stormers.

Rugby Union - Guinness Series - Ireland v Argentina - Aviva Stadium Guinazu [left] is powerless to stop Jonny Sexton scoring for Ireland in Dublin in 2012. Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

The Argentinian has experience of playing in both propping positions, but has primarily been used as a hooker in recent years.

“We need to hit the ground running this season and to do this we need to have a full complement of players available to us,” said Munster head coach Anthony Foley.

“We have short-term setbacks with Niall Scannell rehabbing from wrist injury and Damien Varley managing a foot injury, but with Sherry ruled out until next year it is great that we can call on the services of an experienced, versatile player such as Eusebio.  His availability will certainly help us get through the opening period of the season.”

Meanwhile, Munster say centre Cian Bohane will undergo a scan on his knee injury tomorrow. The 23-year-old looked to be seriously injured during Friday’s victory over London Irish, and was stretchered off the RSC pitch.

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Murray Kinsella

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