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'People jumping to the conclusion that Carbery is finished - that's nonsense'

Bernard Jackman believes Munster should back their academy out-halves to support JJ Hanrahan.

MUNSTER AND IRELAND fans have largely been united in wishing Joey Carbery the best after his latest setback with the ankle injury that he first suffered a year ago, but others have started to write the 24-year-old off.

Speaking on today’s episode of The42 Rugby Weekly as the podcast returned ahead of the restart of Irish rugby, Bernard Jackman dismissed that notion and argued that there is a positive side to the latest announcement that Carbery is out for an indefinite period.

Former Grenoble and Dragons boss Jackman believes the release of pressure on Carbery to get back playing on a specific date will help his recovery, while he underlined that the out-half has many years of rugby ahead of him.

joey-carbery-after-the-game Carbery has 22 caps for Ireland so far. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Questions have been asked about whether Carbery should have been brought to last year’s World Cup with Ireland when he was evidently struggling to recover from his ankle injury and Jackman said it’s clear that was an error, if an understandable one.

“In hindsight, it definitely seems as if that was the wrong decision and it has definitely caused him to miss a lot longer but it’s a World Cup, where he was going to play a big role for Ireland either as a stand-in for Johnny Sexton in certain games or coming off the bench,” said Jackman on today’s episode of The42 Rugby Weekly

“I can understand completely why that decision was made and sometimes you can make those decisions and get away with it. It’s definitely something that we’re all wiser about in hindsight.

“I actually think it’s really good news, in one way, with the way they have handled it. It’s obviously horrendous news for him and for Munster but it’s just basically giving him time and setting your stall out by saying, ‘He’s not going to play for an indefinite period of time’ because that takes the pressure off him and lets him carry on with his rehab and just come right.

“He’s still very young and he still has a lot of rugby ahead of him. I’ve noticed some friends and people I’ve been chatting to jumping to the conclusion that Carbery is finished – that’s nonsense.

“He’s going through a period of time where his body isn’t playing ball with him but these injuries are definitely fixable. The advances in medical science and rehab are incredible even compared to where they were four or five years ago. The IRFU are excellent at managing these injuries and players will see the best people in the world. 

“I have no doubt that he will come back from it but it’s just a case of being patient.

“Potentially the lesson learned is to give it time and not try to rush back for a game. This clarity now around him being out for an indefinite period will be great for him mentally and just take the pressure off around short-term goals and instead look at the medium to long-term for him, which is the next seven or eight years at least.

joey-carbery-and-matthew-rea Having no set date to return by could benefit Carbery. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

“It’s a blow but from a long-term point of view for Munster and Ireland, it’s more important that he comes back and has all the right rehab done.”

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28-year-old JJ Hanrahan is now set to continue as Munster’s starting out-half as the season restarts against Leinster on Saturday but he is the only player in that position in the province’s senior squad.

Head coach Johann van Graan has indicated that Munster could look at signing a new out-half to fill in during Carbery’s extended spell on the sidelines, but the province does have three talented out-halves in its academy in the shape of Ben Healy, Jake Flannery, and Jack Crowley.

Jackman believes Munster should back their young talents in Carbery’s absence. 

“I’d like to see them give those players the opportunity if they’re needed,” said Jackman.

“If something happened to JJ and he was out for three or four months, that’s a different argument, but it’s incredible that Munster have three out-halves in their academy system who are all as promising as they are.

“I think Munster will try to give those young players the opportunity and even though they’ve said Joey is out for an indefinite period of time, you’d like to hope that maybe around the turn of the year he would be back.

“It’s a great opportunity for JJ to be the senior 10 and he’s a very talented player as well. Maybe with that clarity that he’s number one, not looking over his shoulder, the extra time he’s spent with Stephen Larkham, the quality outside him with Damien de Allende and Chris Farrell – that level of chat and communication and confidence he’s going to get from his outside backs.

“Munster have a great backline on paper. JJ should be able to do a cracking job with them so I wouldn’t foresee Munster going to the transfer market unless something happens to JJ.”

You can listen to The42 Rugby Weekly below or on any of your favourite podcast apps.

Bernard Jackman and Murray Kinsella look forward to the restart of Irish rugby by previewing all four provinces ahead of the inter-pros this weekend:


Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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