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Dublin: 2°C Wednesday 14 April 2021

Saili in line to make first Munster appearance of season in Leinster showdown

The New Zealander has been sidelined since undergoing shoulder surgery in August.

Munster centre Francis Saili.
Munster centre Francis Saili.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

FRANCIS SAILI COULD make his first appearance for Munster this season in their top-of-the-table clash against Leinster on Monday.

The St Stephen’s Day Guinness Pro12 tie [17.30, TG4/Sky Sports] pits Rassie Erasmus’ side, who are top on points difference, against Leo Cullen’s charges at Thomond Park.

Kiwi centre Saili is fit to play in the encounter having been sidelined with shoulder surgery since August.

South African centre Jaco Taute, who has been at the province on a short-term loan deal during Saili’s absence, is due to return to the Stormers at the start of next year so Erasmus will surely be keen to get Saili back up to match sharpness.

Meanwhile, Niall Scannell picked up a niggle in Munster’s defeat to Leicester at Welford Road last weekend but is expected to return to training later this week.

There wasn’t such good news for winger Alex Wootton – he has been ruled out for three to four months due to shoulder surgery.

Academy playmaker Bill Johnston is another long-term absentee too (eight-12 weeks) with an ankle issue.

Elsewhere, Kevin O’Byrne (elbow) and Dave O’Callaghan (shoulder) both showed no ill effects after participating in Sunday’s bonus-point win against Rotherham Titans in the B&I Cup.

Robin Copeland (ribs) has picked up an injury that will be assessed later in the week.

Mark Chisholm (concussion), Duncan Casey (knee), Mike Sherry (back) and Cathal Sheridan (ankle) also remain on the absentee list.

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Alan Waldron

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