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Munster to link up with Scarlets and head for Cape Town as they await route back to Ireland

The southern province hope to eventually travel home from Cape Town on a charter flight with URC counterparts Scarlets, Cardiff and Zebre.

Munster in Johannesburg Airport.
Munster in Johannesburg Airport.
Image: Munster Rugby

Updated Nov 27th 2021, 7:48 PM

MUNSTER HAVE DEPARTED their training base in Pretoria and will link up with Wales’ Scarlets before travelling together to Cape Town, the city in which their United Rugby Championship counterparts Cardiff and Zebre are also currently awaiting a route out of South Africa.

As of the southern province’s latest update on Saturday evening, Munster’s travelling party of 34 players and 14 staff were set to fly from Johannesburg to Cape Town, but with a pitstop in Durban from where Scarlets would join them on the journey.

Munster hope to be able to travel home on a charter flight with the other three URC clubs in question but will await further updates in Cape Town. 

The URC yesterday confirmed the postponement of all games in South Africa slated for the next two weekends due to concern over the newly emerged ‘omicron’ variant of Covid-19.

Munster were due to face the Vodacom Bulls at Loftus Versfeld this evening, while they had another fixture with the Emirates Lions scheduled for next weekend.

But now their focus is on returning home. With new travel restrictions in place, Munster will likely have to quarantine for 10 days upon their arrival back in Ireland, which may cast doubt over the viability of their 12 December Champions Cup opener versus Wasps in Coventry.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Six One news yesterday, health minister Stephen Donnelly noted that new restrictions for people travelling to Ireland from several southern African countries would apply “regardless of status”.

While Munster did not comment on this potential outcome, the franchise released a statement from their bubble in Loftus Park this morning, confirming that all involved had tested negative for the virus.

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In that earlier statement, Munster added: “A special note of thanks to Protea Hotel Operations Manager Greg Sparke and his staff for the fantastic care and service provided during the week. The squad are also grateful for the services of Team Liaison Warren Morris who has been working with the squad for the tour.”

Gavan Casey and Bernard Jackman are joined by Garry Doyle to peak at next year’s Six Nations through the lens of November just gone, look ahead to the weekend’s URC fixtures, and discuss potential replacements for Stephen Larkham at Munster:

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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