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Dublin: 3°C Friday 14 May 2021

'He will be a real loss' - Munster's Matt Gallagher set for shoulder surgery

The province have welcomed back their Ireland internationals for Sunday’s clash with Harlequins.

Gallagher suffered the injury in Munster's win over Zebre.
Gallagher suffered the injury in Munster's win over Zebre.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

MUNSTER FULLBACK MATT Gallagher is set for an extended period on the sidelines due to impending shoulder surgery.

The 24-year-old suffered the injury in Munster’s win over Zebre last week and will now go under the knife to rectify the issue.

A summer signing from Saracens, the Irish-qualified Gallagher was making just his fifth appearance for Munster when he picked up the injury in the process of attempting to ground the ball for a try.

He will miss this weekend’s Champions Cup opener against Harlequins at Thomond Park and will be out of action for some time to come.

“He has took his chances, he has played well, and to get injured the way he did over the tryline, that’s sad for Matt,” said Munster assistant coach Graham Rowntree.

“It’s another unlucky player who was in some real form. He’s a good lad as well, he has really fitted in here, such a good lad to coach. He’s a real giver, he helps to coach the lads on the field and he will be a real loss. Hope he gets better real quickly.”

On a more positive note, second row Fineen Wycherley has returned to full training this week after a low-grade groin injury and could come back into the mix for the meeting with Harlequins at Thomond Park on Sunday.

“He’s training, we’ll see how he recovers from today,” said Rowntree. “Today is quite a strenuous day – well, it is for the forwards. It’s quite a strenuous day all round and we’ll see how he recovers. I think he’ll be alright, he’s a tough kid.”

Munster have welcomed back their entire contingent of Ireland internationals after the busy recent autumn window, with captain Peter O’Mahony, CJ Stander, Conor Murray, Tadhg Beirne, Andrew Conway, Shane Daly, Keith Earls, Chris Farrell, and John Ryan all due to be available for selection this weekend.

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munsters-peter-omahony-and-cj-stander Munster's Ireland internationals are back this week. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Rowntree backed those players to reintegrate smoothly despite the short turnaround before their first Munster appearance for months, although head coach Johann van Graan faces some interesting selection calls due to the form of their young players in the Pro14.

The likes of Craig Casey, Gavin Coombes, and Ben Healy have put their hands up for European starts.

“We wouldn’t pick them if they weren’t comfortable,” said Rowntree of Munster’s young guns. “The art to coaching and selection is bringing them in at the right time and with the right combinations. Johann, in particular, is very good at that – picking experienced guys around them – and it has worked.

“Our fans are enjoying it because they’re used to it. Think of the Munster legends who have gone before them who all started in the academy. Now we want to produce and promote that homegrown talent because it’s the bedrock of the club.

“This is a chance where they’ve got to get on with it. We’ve got every confidence in them and can’t wait to see them play.”

Dave Kilcoyne [ankle], RG Snyman [knee], Joey Carbery [ankle], Alex McHenry [thumb], Jeremy Loughman [shoulder], Niall Scannell [neck], and Neil Cronin [knee] all remain on the comeback trail. 

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Murray Kinsella

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