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'Let justice to take its course' - Erasmus happy to face Carter, Rokocoko and Imhoff

The Munster director of rugby ‘would never say anything bad about’ Dan Carter.

MUNSTER COACH RASSIE Erasmus says he wants ‘justice to take its course’ in the case of Dan Carter, Joe Rokocoko and Juan Imhoff.

The Racing 92 trio will come face to face with Munster this Sunday in their crunch Champions Cup opener at Stade Yves-Du-Manoir.

Rassie Erasmus Erasmus wouldn't say anything bad about Dan Carter. Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

They attended a French anti-doping hearing on Wednesday after they were found with traces of a banned corticosteroid in samples taken from them following June’s Top 14 final victory over Toulon.

Carter has his own fitness worries ahead of the Pool 1 opener – he has missed Racing’s last two games with a calf issue – but Erasmus says he has no problem with the international trio being allowed to play.

“We see it in the newspapers but it is so out of our control and it shouldn’t have any influence on you whether it is a coach or a player or supporter,” said Erasmus.

“I know Dan Carter for a long time, I have coached against him and played against him. He is such an icon and I would never say anything bad about him.

“I have no problem in the other two players involved in this match. Let justice take its course.”

Meanwhile, Ireland and Munster back Keith Earls is in a race against time to feature in the game in Paris.

The 29-year-old, who has played in the centre for his province recently, left the field concussed in the 57th minute of their 25-14 defeat to Leinster last weekend.

The Limerick man is following the return-to-play protocols but Erasmus says he is ‘a big worry.’

Rassie Erasmus Erasmus speaks in UL yesterday. Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

Loosehead prop Dave Kilcoyne is also following the concussion protocols, and with fellow international loosehead James Cronin suspended, his involvement is crucial.

Cronin has been banned for four weeks after he was cited for a stamp on Leinster scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park in their Pro12 Round 5 defeat at Aviva Stadium.


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But Erasmus says he accepts the ban and Munster need to move forward and focus on the French.

“I haven’t seen the paperwork and the final judgement. Four weeks, for the end result of what happened on the pitch from my side I think let’s accept it.

“It’s like an injury, you can lose a guy on Friday because of flu coming into a game. If you lose a guy because of foul play or injury, any of those things.

“You just have to take it, it’s the same for everybody. It’s not the greatest situation but I have been in worse.

“Dave is doing well. He is probably 99% going to make it. John Ryan is going well, Stephen Archer is back. We are doing well enough there.”

Dave Kilcoyne Kilcoyne at yesterday's session. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Munster are two-time European Cup champions but they have finished third in their pool and failed to qualify for the knock-out stages for the last two seasons.

However, Erasmus says that despite their recent defeat to Leinster and a heavy 27-7 loss in Paris on their last visit – against Stade Français last season – he is not dwelling on the past.

“We try not to look back. We try to see this as a new season with new players and some new coaching staff involved and new opposition.

We try to really put that stuff behind us, even from weekend to weekend, even from last weekend to this weekend. It’s a new battle, new opportunities, new players, new plans.

“It’s different stadiums, different players to play against, enjoy it and see how you can win those little individual battles and enjoy the moment.

“It’s frustrating when you make out games like this as daunting, that’s not why we’re in the game, this is exactly the type of game we want to go and play in to measure yourself against.”

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Daragh Small

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