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Mixed Injury News Ahead Munster’s Belfast Trip

Munster forwards coach Graham Rowntree has provided an injury update ahead of his team’s trip to face Ulster on Friday



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Munster forwards coach Graham Rowntree believes that Joey Carbery is fully fit to play against Ulster at Ravenhill on Friday.

Carbery, who made his return from a long-term ankle injury against Leinster last Saturday, which was his first appearance for the province of the season, looks set to play a big role this Friday. Head coach Johaan van Graan’s hand could be forced somewhat due to the fact that fellow out-half JJ Hanrahan appears to have picked up a hamstring injury, meaning Carbery might start. 

Whatever his role may be Rowntree thinks that Carbery will be comfortable to do what is necessary. 

“He is fine, 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. 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,” he said. 

As well as Carbery it looks as though Dave Kilcoyne, Chris Cloete and Gavin Coombes may be available for the clash. 

While their possible returns to the starting line-up is a massive boost to the province, there is a growing injury list which balances the scale. 

Back-rower Tommy O’Donnell will undergo a scan on an injury that he picked up during last weekend’s loss, while hooker Kevin O’Byrne is rehabing an ankle injury, and Tadhg Beirne will undergo surgery on an ankle injury later this week, as he remains a long-term absentee. 

Lastly, John Ryan could be available for selection soon following an injury which he picked up against Saracens a couple of weeks’ ago as he is set to return to training this week. 

Munster will be hoping they can pull-off a big result this weekend when they head to Ravenhill to take on an Ulster team that have been incredibly impressive this season to date, with the southern men looking to stay at the top of Conference B of the PRO14.  


Scotland Ace Signs Contract Extension

One of Scotland’s key men has decided to put pen to paper on a new deal with his current club



(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Scotland lock Ben Toolis has signed a new contract with current club Edinburgh ahead of the Six Nations with the national side.

The 27-year-old is included in Scotland’s Six Nations squad and has 22-caps to his name at the moment. Meanwhile at club-level Toolis has made over 100 appearances for Edinburgh since his debut in 2013. 

Speaking on the new deal Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill admitted he is delighted to have the Brisbane-born lock on board for the foreseeable future. 

“Ben is one of the most athletic locks in the league, while his ability and leadership at the lineout is key to the way we play. We are delighted to see him re-sign, and I’ve got no doubt that he will continue to be a big player for this club in the years to come,” he said to the club’s website. 

The length of the deal have not been announced, but it is a boost for both club and country as his stock continues to rise. 

Toolis will be hoping that he can continue his partnership with Grant Gilchrist in the upcoming Six Nations with the squad currently preparing to face Ireland in their opening game on February 1st.

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Former Welsh Ace to Hang Up Boots

One of Wales’ former stars has confirmed that he will retire from rugby come the end of the current season



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Former Wales back James Hook has announced that he will be calling time on his professional rugby career come the end of the current season.

Hook is contracted to the Ospreys, but with his deal set to end at the end of the campaign he has decided the time has come to pull the curtain on a professional career spanning 16 years. 

“It’s sad but something I’m really looking forward to. It comes to everyone at some point and now it’s time for me. I’ve had lots of highlights, winning Grand Slam titles and Six Nations and going on the Lions tour in 2009. Then signing my first professional contract was a big moment for me. Growing up I always aspired to be a professional rugby player. You never think it’ll actually happen so when it did it really was amazing,” he said in a post on social media. 

The 34-year old picked up a total of 81-caps for Wales to go along with his 148 appearances for the Ospreys. 

As well as his time with the Welsh region Hook had spells at both Top 14 side Perpignan and English Premiership outfit Gloucester between his stints at the Ospreys. 

Hook has admitted he hopes to continue his rugby journey off the pitch, but that he is also looking forward to having more time to spend with his family after such a long time on the playing field. 

“I want to stay involved in the game, particularly working on the skills, like I do now with the young kickers and the age-grade sides, and I’m hoping to finish my level three coaching qualification. It’ll be nice to spend time with my family, my three young boys and my wife. It’s going to be sad not playing at the end of the season, but you’ve got to be positive and look on the bright side and I’m looking forward to what’s next,” he added. 

As well as his rugby career Hook has also written a series of children’s books that are set to be released later this year and that could provide him with something else to venture into if they are successful. 

However, for now he will be hoping that he can help the Ospreys turn around their disastrous season to date before he hangs his boots up for good. 

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Connacht Set to Lose Big Star

Connacht look set to without one of their key men next season according to reports as he appears set for a move



Connacht look as though they will have to deal without flanker Colby Fainga’a next season as he appears to be set for a move to French side Lyon according to Irish outlet the42.

They are reporting that the former Rebels man is the Top 14 side’s preferred replacement for the departing Liam Gill, who will leave at the end of this season. 

Connacht were keen to keep their players’ player of the year from last season and had entered contract talks to extend his deal past the original two years, but with talks stalling Lyon have come in with a reported offer of 300,000 euro a season which would be hard to refuse. 

The 28-year-old would be a huge loss to the western province having been such a massive influence since his arrival in 2018. 

However, more positive news for fans is that the back-rower is set to return from a knee injury this weekend against Toulouse, to help Connacht during a period where injuries have severely hampered them. 

It is understood that Connacht would like to replace Fainga’a with another overseas star, but for now they will hope to get the most out of the Aussie between now and the end of the season.

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