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Munster's Joey Carbery poised to end 60-week injury layoff

By Sam Smith
(Photo by Getty Images)

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Injury-plagued Joey Carbery is set to play his first rugby for Munster in 60 weeks after he was included in their matchday 23 to play Cardiff at the Arms Park on Friday in the latest round of the Guinness PRO14. The 25-year-old out-half has had a horrible run with injuries dating back to when he was stretchered off at the Aviva Stadium during an Ireland World Cup warm-up game with Italy in August 2019. 


Carbery recovered from that ankle injury to travel to the World Cup finals in Japan but he was soon in the wars again when back on provincial duty with Munster, injuring a wrist in his last appearance in January 2020 at Ulster. 

While rehabbing that problem, it was decided an operation was needed to properly mend the ankle that continued to cause issues and it is only now that he is back in the mix after a near 14-month stretch in between games. 

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Nigel Owens guests on the latest RugbyPass Offload with Simon Zebo and Ryan Wilson
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Nigel Owens guests on the latest RugbyPass Offload with Simon Zebo and Ryan Wilson

The inclusion of Carbery on the bench for the conference leaders in Wales will be viewed as a considerable boost in a campaign likely to culminate in a final against Irish rivals Leinster and a home tie in the still to be confirmed Champions Cup round of 16 restart.  

Munster defeated Edinburgh away last time out and there are six changes to their XV for their latest trip to the UK. Jack O’Donoghue captains the side, joining Chris Cloete and Jack O’Sullivan in the back row.

Fineen Wycherley scrums down next to Jean Kleyn, with Kevin O’Byrne stepping into the front row in between James Cronin and John Ryan. Shane Daly returns from Ireland camp to retain his position on the left wing with Calvin Nash named on the opposite flank. Mike Haley completes the back three at full-back.


The centre partnership sees Rory Scannell lining up next to Damian de Allende and Nick McCarthy joins JJ Hanrahan at half-back. If sprung from the bench Billy Holland will move ahead of Ronan O’Gara in the all-time Munster appearances list, becoming the second most-capped player for the province with his 241st appearance in red. Paddy Patterson, meanwhile, is in line to make his Munster debut on the bench.

MUNSTER (vs Cardiff, Friday)
Mike Haley; Calvin Nash, Rory Scannell, Damian de Allende, Shane Daly; JJ Hanrahan, Nick McCarthy; James Cronin, Kevin O’Byrne, John Ryan; Jean Kleyn, Fineen Wycherley; Jack O’Donoghue (capt), Chris Cloete, Jack O’Sullivan. Reps: Niall Scannell, Liam O’Connor, Roman Salanoa, Billy Holland, Gavin Coombes, Paddy Patterson, Joey Carbery, Darren Sweetnam.


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