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Wednesday 8 February 2023 Dublin: 7°C
Andy Watts/INPHO Roman Salanoa has returned to Munster training.
# Prop Stocks
Munster boosted by return of tighthead Salanoa ahead of Wasps clash
The 24-year-old has yet to start a game for the southern province.

MUNSTER HAVE BEEN handed a boost ahead of their clash with Wasps in the Champions Cup on Sunday with the return to fitness of tighthead prop Roman Salanoa.

The southern province are preparing for the European game without the bulk of their senior squad, who are isolating either in Ireland or South Africa after their recent United Rugby Championship trip to the latter.

Munster have had particular concerns about their front row options with so many of the senior squad currently unavailable, meaning Salanoa’s recovery from a knee injury is well timed.

The powerful Hawaii native, who joined Munster from Leinster in 2020, could even come straight into the starting XV for Sunday’s game in Coventry. The 24-year-old has never started a senior professional game before.

His fellow senior tightheads, Stephen Archer, John Ryan, and Keynan Knox are all currently in isolation either in Ireland or South Africa.

Munster also have academy props Mark Donnelly and James French available but head coach Johann van Graan – who is also still isolating – will be pleased to have Salanoa back in full training, which continues this week in Limerick under the guidance of academy boss Ian Costello.

Meanwhile, Munster have confirmed that academy wing Conor Phillips returns to the provincial set-up this week after being in Dubai with an Ireland 7s squad.

Munster need all the fit bodies they can get at present. The province confirmed that the 34 players and staff who returned to Ireland from South Africa last Wednesday remain in mandatory self-isolation.

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Munster say “it is expected the group will complete their quarantine period over the weekend,” although it’s unclear if those players will be available to fly to England for Sunday’s clash with Wasps.

Meanwhile, the 14 players and staff left behind in Cape Town after positive Covid tests will complete their quarantine “at different stages this week,” according to Munster.

Munster confirmed that back row John Hodnett [ankle], wing Calvin Nash [ankle], scrum-half Rowan Osborne [head] are all sidelined through injury along with RG Snyman [knee], while academy locks Paddy Kelly and Edwin Edogbo are also out with long-term injuries.

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