Belfast Telegraph

Munster's French test gets even tougher

By Ruaidhri O'Connor

Munster are facing a propping crisis ahead of Sunday's daunting trip to face French champions Racing 92 after James Cronin was hit with a four-week ban.

The Ireland international was found guilty of having "recklessly stamped on the head of an opponent" in an incident involving Leinster's Jamison Gibson-Park during the closing stages of Saturday's defeat at the Aviva Stadium, an act that warranted a red card according to an all-Scottish Guinness Pro12 judicial panel.

Munster will consider whether to appeal the judgement, and director of rugby Rassie Erasmus will have an update at today's press briefing, but with Dave Kilcoyne recovering from a concussion he suffered in the same game, the South African has a major problem in the scrum.

If Kilcoyne fails to make it, Erasmus could switch John Ryan to the loosehead side and start Stephen Archer at tighthead.

However, reserve tighthead prop John Andress is also struggling for fitness after injuring his knee playing for Shannon last weekend, and South African signing Thomas du Toit has yet to arrive.

Academy prop Brian Scott could yet be involved in European action for the first time against the powerful Parisians after Munster chose not to register any additional players yesterday.

Erasmus will also provide an update on the fitness of Keith Earls, who is following the concussion protocols.

Belfast Telegraph


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