Belfast Telegraph

We should be patient with returning Carbery, urges Rowntree


Waiting game: Joey Carbery
Waiting game: Joey Carbery

By Cian Tracey

Munster forwards coach Graham Rowntree has called for patience surrounding Joey Carbery, as the out-half works his way back to full fitness following his return from an ankle injury.

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Carbery made his comeback off the bench in last weekend's defeat to Leinster and is expected to feature against Ulster on Friday night ahead of Munster's crucial Champions Cup meeting with Racing 92 in Paris.

Munster's attack has failed to fire in recent games, and although Carbery is expected to change that, Rowntree urged caution over people expecting too much too soon from the 24-year-old, who has been hampered by the ankle issue since August.

"I think I, we (coaches), supporters and the public have got to be patient," Rowntree insisted. "But the early signs when he was on the field on Saturday night were that he is back."

With JJ Hanrahan set to undergo a scan on his hamstring, Carbery's return could not be better timed.

Tommy O'Donnell is also due to have his hamstring scanned, but Dave Kilcoyne (quad) and Chris Cloete (arm) will train this week along with Carbery.

"He is fine, medically, yes," Rowntree said of Carbery."As far as I know, he is fine. It is good to see him on the field. He is a class operator. It is good to have him back. He is crucial, he got some game-time under his belt. He has been out for a long time. You can see his frustration. But he has slid straight back in and is training well.

"As far as I know, he will be fine for Friday."

Meanwhile Munster's tam doctor Jamie Kearns has been found guilty of verbally abusing Saracens hooker Jamie George during last month's Heineken Champions Cup clash.

A European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) hearing ruled that Dr Kearns breached their disciplinary rules, and thus slapped him with a three-week suspended touchline ban, and issued a fine of €2,000, which must be paid immediately.

Dr Kearns' comments sparked a mass brawl between both sets of players as George fumed at the alleged derogatory remarks.

Saracens boss Mark McCall had claimed that a member of Munster's backroom staff had said "something horrible to one of our players."

Munster and Dr Kearns must now weigh up an appeal.

Sale boss Steve Diamond has escaped a touchline ban for insulting match officials but has been fined by Champions Cup organisers.

Diamond was alleged to have made disparaging remarks against referee Mathieu Raynal and his assistants after Sharks' 22-20 defeat by Exeter on December 8. The 50-year-old, who has a chequered disciplinary history, immediately made it clear he was joking but an an independent hearing has upheld the misconduct complaint and fined him £2,553.

Belfast Telegraph


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