MUNSTER confirmed that out-half Joey Carbery will miss the entire Six Nations after suffering a wrist injury last Friday night in Belfast.
Coach Johann van Graan admitted to being gutted by the news having watched the player work so hard to get back to full fitness.
“That’s rugby, I’m gutted for Joey as an individual,” said van Graan in Limerick yesterday. “I care about the players and speaking to him on Monday afternoon when we got the news, obviously it’s not nice news for him.
“He worked hard to get back into the position, he played the full 80 for the first time for quite a while and now he is out for a considerable amount of time.” Van Graan’s attention now turns to who will fill the number 10 slot with JJ Hanrahan rated only at 50/50 to make next Sunday’s make-or-break clash with Racing 92, 3.15pm.
Hanrahan missed the loss to Ulster and van Graan says he will have to wait and see if there is any reaction at training today before making any decision on Hanrahan.
“I’d say 50/50 is a good way to put it,” said van Graan. “Importantly, he wants to be ready. He is an experienced number 10, he knows the team needs him for possibly 80 minutes so he needs to be at 100% to perform.
“He’ll always put the team first. If he’s ready on Friday and his body is ready then he’ll tell us. If not, he’ll put the team first and it’s next man up.” If Hanrahan isn’t ready, Munster will start either Academy out-half Ben Healy or centre Rory Scannell will be moved in a slot.
“We as a group back whoever is in,” said van Graan. “Ben has grown quite a lot over the last few weeks – he’s been part of gameday warm-ups, he’s been part of the squad and Rory has trained there.
“We’ve been in this position quite a bit, we’ve literally had one fly-half and when we’ve had 6/2 split [on the bench] Rory was covering in any case. It’s not something new for the team, we’ll just back whoever is in that position on Sunday.”