Munster have added Ben Murphy on a short-term deal. James Crombie/INPHO

'It's a boost in that area' - Munster confirm signing of scrum-half Ben Murphy

The Ireland U20s international has joined on a seven-week contract.

Updated at 3.50pm

MUNSTER HAVE CONFIRMED the signing of Leinster sub-academy and Ireland U20s scrum-half Ben Murphy on a seven-week contract.

With Conor Murray on Ireland duty, Neil Cronin sidelined with a long-term knee injury, and no scrum-halves in Munster’s academy, they had been looking to bring in a new scrum-half to supplement Craig Casey and Nick McCarthy.

“We have been looking around and working closely with the IRFU,” said Munster assistant coach JP Ferreira. “A guy like Ethan Coughlan from Ennis, a local boy, we were looking at him but he’s injured at the moment.

“So with the IRFU’s knowledge, we’ve brought in Ben Murphy from the Irish U20s and he’ll be with us for a number of weeks before we make an assessment on that front again.

“We are short on nines currently just having Craig and Nick, so it’s a boost for us in that area.”

Munster have made a positive start to the 2020/21 Pro14 season with four wins from four as some of their promising young players have featured.

Their scheduled fixture away to Benetton this Saturday has been postponed due to Covid-19 cases in the club but Munster have enjoyed their first few games of the campaign.

“It’s exciting,” said Ferreira. “As you have seen, we have given a couple of the young lads some good game time. The youngsters are buzzing because they are getting some game time. It’s good for us and it’s good for the system that the academy lads are coming through.

“We’re in a 16-week block now and everyone needs to get game time. A rotation policy is obviously crucial for us to get everyone on board.”

Shane Daly and John Ryan had been due to play for Munster this weekend after returning from Ireland camp, but won’t get any game time now.

On the injury front, Keith Earls is still rehabbing the back injury that kept him out of Ireland action in recent weeks and wouldn’t have been available for Munster this weekend. It remains to be seen if the injury rules Earls out of the upcoming Autumn Nations Cup with Ireland.

Munster wing Darren Sweetnam picked up a knee injury in the win over the Dragons last weekend, while Dan Goggin has been sidelined by a shoulder injury.

Ferreira couldn’t provide a timeline for Sweetnam and Goggin’s recoveries.

Hooker Rhys Marshall and tighthead prop Roman Salanoa are currently out of action with “low-grade thigh injuries,” while openside flanker Chris Cloete has picked up a neck injury that is not thought to be long-term.

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