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Bleyendaal among Munster's playing squad for South African trip

Ireland squad members Sam Arnold and John Ryan will also be with their province.

Bleyendaal was close by to help Rory Scannell celebrate on Saturday.
Bleyendaal was close by to help Rory Scannell celebrate on Saturday.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

LONG-TERM INJURY absentee Tyler Bleyendaal was among a 27-man Munster squad which set off yesterday for a Pro14 meeting with the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Sunday (14.45, eir Sport).

The playmaker, who is now Irish-qualified, played for Munster A earlier this month and is moving ever-closer to a return to the professional side after a long stint on the sidelines with a neck injury.

He is one of four out-halves named for the trip with Ian Keatley, JJ Hanrahan and Bill Johnston also involved as the squad trains in Johannesburg this week before making the 400km journey south ahead of matchday.

Despite being named in Joe Schmidt’s Ireland squad for November, centre Sam Arnold and tighthead John Ryan are also named in the travelling party by the southern province.

Jean Kleyn and Gavin Coombes Jean Kleyn and Gavin Coombes head for training. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

With six players in Chicago for a Test against Italy on Saturday, Johann van Graan also reserved touring spots for academy players Gavin Coombes, Shane Daly (who both made their Munster debuts in previous meetings with the Cheetahs) Liam Coombes and Sean O’Connor.

Gameweek eight marks the end of a long opening block in the Pro14 with a full three-week gap to come before Munster resume their campaign away to Zebre on 25 November. The Cheetahs currently lie six points back from the Italian side at the foot of Conference A while Munster could end the block in second place behind Glasgow if they can secure a fifth win of the season.

In Conference B, meanwhile, Ulster are assessing injuries to Craig Gilroy (back spasm), Robert Baloucoune (groin) and Michael Lowry (quad) after Friday’s win over the Dragons. The province say the back three trio’s availability for Saturday’s away clash with conference rivals Benetton ‘will depend on their response to treatment’.

Munster squad (v Cheetahs): James Cronin, Jeremy Loughman, Ciaran Parker, John Ryan, Stephen Archer, Kevin O’Byrne, Mike Sherry, Darren O’Shea, Jean Kleyn, Fineen Wycherley, Sean O’Connor, Arno Botha, Chris Cloete, Gavin Coombes, Neil Cronin, Alby Mathewson, Duncan Williams, Tyler Bleyendaal, JJ Hanrahan, Bill Johnston, Ian Keatley, Sammy Arnold, Shane Daly, Rory Scannell, Alex Wootton, Liam Coombes, Mike Haley.

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Sean Farrell

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