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Munster welcome Castres at home

Wednesday, 5th December, 2018 4:40pm

The 12 days of Christmas started early in Munster this year with news that 12 players have signed contract extensions ahead of Sunday's Champion's Cup clash with Castres.

John Ryan, Niall Scannell, Rory Scannell, Darren Sweetnam, Jack O’Donoghue, JJ Hanrahan, Alex Wootton, Rhys Marshall, Fineen Wycherley, Calvin Nash, Arno Botha and Jeremy Loughman have all signed contract extensions.

John Ryan has signed a three-year deal that will see him remain with Munster Rugby until at least June 2022. The 30 year old most recently scored his first international try in Ireland’s win against the USA in November.

Brothers Niall and Rory Scannell, Sweetnam, O’Donoghue, Hanrahan, Wootton, Marshall and Wycherley and Nash have all signed on for a further two years, committing to the province until at least June 2021.

Munster look forward now to their home tie with Castres on Sunday. They come in to the game at the top of Pool 2 with one win and one draw in two games on seven points with Castres in second place with a loss and a win on five points. Ahead of Sunday, the Munster medical department have confirmed that Mike Haley will undergo the return to play protocols and Andrew Conway will return to training this week after both were withdrawn from last Friday's hammering of Edinburgh in the Guinness Pro14.

Elsewhere, Stephen Archer has been unable to train due to illness while Alby Mathewson is rehabbing from a calf injury and will look to reintegrate into training over the next few weeks. Darren Sweetnam is recovering from a back injury and continues to be monitored by the medical department.

In a boost for the province, Conor Murray returned to the field last Friday for the first time this season alongside Chris Farrell who also made a return from a long-term injury. Both played the full 80 minutes in the 44-14 win in Irish Independent Park, with Murray returning from a neck injury while Farrell certainly made his mark, putting in a man of the match performance in the win, grabbing the first and last tries of the win.

Kick-off in the Champion's Cup game against Castres on Sunday is at 1pm.

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