Tuesday 12 December 2017

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Leicester the focus for O'Mahony

Wednesday, 6th December, 2017 5:51pm

Peter O'Mahony has shut down all media talks of his contract ahead of Munster's European Champion's Cup clash with Leicester Tigers. O'Mahony has been in the spotlight in the last week, not for his prowess on the field, but for matters off the pitch as issues surrounding a new IRFU contract remain.

The Munster captain is understood to have rejected an initial offer made by the IRFU on a new two year contract. In a press conference this week, O'Mahony refused to be drawn on the situation, preferring instead to speak about Munster's back to back European fixtures but he did confirm he had hopes for the situation being resolved in the New Year, whatever the outcome.

“I am hoping to get it done by January one way or the other. That is the business side of it done. It’s Leicester for me this week. What is going on is a business situation, it’s business deals, it’s separate.

“Your emotion is with the club and getting it right for the weekend. The lads are dealing with it. It’s a different part of my life at the moment. I might have to make a yes or no call but that is just it. There has to be a decision made at some stage.

“I would have liked to have had it done sooner than this to be honest with you. It is just the way it has fallen."

If a deal is not agreed, O'Mahony, who has made 96 appearances for the province, could follow in the footsteps of teammate Simon Zebo who is to leave Munster at the end of the season.

Before that though, Munster have their tie with Leicester Tigers on Saturday evening at Thomond Park.

Following last weekend’s bonus-point win over Ospreys at a sold-out Irish Independent Park, Simon Zebo has returned to training after he was taken off as a precautionary measure at half-time on Saturday night after taking a blow to his ribs.

However on the flipsipe of good news on Zebo, Greencore Munster Rugby Academy prop Liam O’Connor will require further assessment on the knee injury he sustained against Ospreys. He is undergoing a scan this week but Munster coach Johann van Graan confirmed that it does not look good for O'Connor who left the stadium on crutches following his injury.

Elsewhere, Jack O’Donoghue took a bang to the shoulder and will be managed by the medical team but is expected to train this week and Tommy O’Donnell (AC joint) returned to training this week, also. Duncan Williams showed no ill-effects having made his return to action as a replacement on Saturday night.

Ronan O’Mahony (fibula) is progressing well and continuing with his on-field rehab and continuing in their rehab are Tyler Bleyendaal (neck), Gerbrandt Grobler (ankle), Conor Oliver (shoulder), Dan Goggin (knee), Dave O’Callaghan (knee), Jaco Taute (knee), Niall Scannell (thumb), Keith Earls (hamstring), James Cronin (calf), Chris Farrell (knee).

On the domestic scene, 11 Munster players were in All Ireland League action last weekend. Cork Constitution were at the end of a 24-17 loss to Garryowen who had Mike Sherry and Bill Johnston with Greencore Munster Rugby Academy players David Johnston and Liam Coombes also starring. David Johnston proved the match-winner as he scored two tries for the Dooradoyle club as Academy man Shane Daly started at full-back for Cork Con.

Daniel Hurley started on the wing for Young Munster in their loss away to Terenure College and Jack Power was at full-back in their win over Dublin University.

Ciaran Parker and John Foley started in the pack for Shannon as they were beaten by Ballynahinch.

Jack O’Sullivan started in the back row for UCC as they won away at UL Bohs with Joey Conway in the front row for the Limerick side.

Academy players Liam O’Connor, Sean O’Connor and Calvin Nash were in Pro14 action for Munster on Saturday night.

Alex McHenry played with the Ireland 7s side as they finished in fifth place at the Dubai 7s International Invitational tournament on Saturday.

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