2023 Exeter Chiefs vs Munster Rugby

Munster Rugby Contends With Key Injuries Ahead Of Investec Champions Cup

Munster Rugby Contends With Key Injuries Ahead Of Investec Champions Cup

Munster Rugby, the reigning United Rugby Championship champion, is grappling with injuries, as talisman Peter O’Mahony aims for a Champions Cup return.

Nov 29, 2023 by Philip Bendon
Munster Rugby Contends With Key Injuries Ahead Of Investec Champions Cup

United Rugby Championship title holder Munster Rugby faces a challenging start to its Investec Champions Cup campaign, as key players deal with injuries. 

Among the injured is talismanic backrow Peter O’Mahony, who is set to miss the initial stages of the competition, with his sights set on a return in Round 2 for a clash with Exeter on Dec. 17. 

O'Mahony, a linchpin for Munster and Ireland, is sidelined with a shoulder injury, ruling him out of the upcoming URC clash with Glasgow and likely the Investec Champions Cup opener against Bayonne. 

While initial concerns hinted at a potentially lengthy absence, the setback appears less severe than feared. 

His fellow flanker, Jack O’Donoghue, finds himself in a similar situation, nursing an ankle injury. 

Munster's head coach, Graham Rowntree, provided some assurance, stating, "It's going to be weeks, but not months." 

Rowntree expressed hope in getting both players back into action during the European competition before the Christmas break. 

“I’m hoping to get them involved in European competition this side of Christmas," Rowntree said. “Pete has had another expert look at it last night, another scan on it, and we’re just awaiting a report on that. Jack got away with it. It’s a horrible clear-out. You see the view from behind and how his knee has survived. He’s ended up with his ankle taking the brunt of it, but it’s not that bad.”

Despite the relatively positive outlook for O'Mahony and O'Donoghue, Munster faces a more somber situation with lock RG Snyman. 

The South African player, who sustained a chest/shoulder injury his team's win over New Zealand in the final at the 2023 Rugby World Cup, may be sidelined until March 2024. 

Snyman, having played only 10 games in four years for the province, aims to make a comeback for the end-of-season run-in ahead of his departure from the province. 

Rowntree shed light on Snyman's situation, saying, "It's not a small operation he has had, and he's not a small human. We'll see how he progresses. The next month to a month and a half will tell us a lot. But I'm preparing myself for the worst-case scenario." 

Adding to Munster's injury concerns, seasoned back-three player Simon Zebo has picked up a "niggle" during Munster’s recent URC defeat to Leinster, ruling him out of the upcoming clash with Glasgow.