Ben Healy pictured during a Munster training session today. Evan Treacy/INPHO

Munster expecting a bounce from returning internationals

The province resume their URC campaign at Thomond Park on Saturday against Glasgow Warriors.

FORWARDS COACH ANDI Kyriacou said Munster are expecting a bounce from the return of their all-conquering Irish senior and U20 players as they turn their attention now to the business end of the URC and Champions Cup campaigns.

Munster, currently fifth in the table, resume their URC campaign at Thomond Park on Saturday against a Glasgow Warriors side two points above them as the battle intensifies for home quarter-finals.

Peter O’Mahony and Conor Murray have been given the week off but with the obvious exception of the injured Tadhg Beirne (ankle) and Keith Earls (calf), all the other internationals, Craig Casey, Jack Crowley, Dave Kilcoyne, Joey Carbery, Gavin Coombes and Roman Salanoa are all back.

Munster head to South Africa next week to take on the Sharks in the Champions Cup round of 16 in Durban – with the quarter-finals taking place the following weekend – before Munster go back to South Africa for two league games.

Kyriacou expects the feelgood factor from the double Grand Slam successes at the weekend to feed into Munster, not least as they had healthy representation on both squads.

“We are really across the load-management side of things, we are very aligned with the S&C and High Performance Department in the IRFU both for the 20s and the seniors so if there are things we need to be wary of in terms of tapering how much we are putting the lads through, or if they have not had enough, ramping that up we are well aligned and across it.

andi-kyriacou Munster forwards coach Andi Kyriacou. Ben Brady / INPHO Ben Brady / INPHO / INPHO

“So, ideally we should be in a good position to push forward with those players,” said Kyriacou.

Another international who has returned to the fold is Ben Healy who made his Scotland debut off the bench last weekend and helped his adopted country to victory over Italy.

Kyriacou said the Tipperary native, who will join Edinburgh in the summer, now has a chance to bid for a World Cup place in the coming months.

“I think he has benefited a lot from being up in that national environment, working with some very good players and obviously a very good coaching staff up,” added Kyriacou.

“He has come back full of confidence, a lot of balance in what we are seeing on the training paddock. He’s training well and putting himself in a position to be selected like all the lads have since they came back.

He has done himself proud, no doubt, he has put in a huge body of work to get to that point and the opportunity has come for him in this year’s campaign and it’s up to him now as well.

“He has to come back, keep working hard, have a really good summer and hopefully he’ll put himself in contention for that squad for France.”

One man who wasn’t surprised by Healy’s positive start to his international career is his half-back partner Craig Casey.

“I’m absolutely delighted for him. Anyone who makes an international debut, it is a huge moment in their career,” said Casey.

“Obviously growing up we would have been (playing) nine and 10 for U17s, U18s and then 20s and stuff like that, so I definitely thought it (Healy’s international debut) would have been in an Irish jersey growing up but, look, he has made an unbelievable decision for him and it has proved right. What a great fella and we wish him all the best for next year.

“I think for him he has made a right decision to be honest. It was justified for him last Saturday and for his family getting that international cap and we are all delighted for him here.

“He 100% deserves it. I thought he improved Scotland when he went in, they were more fluid and they got the win and that probably tops it off for him,” added Casey.

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