Andy Farrell has urged people to be patient with Joey Carbery as he makes his long-awaited return from injury for Munster tonight.
Carbery has not played since January 2020 but has been named on the bench for Friday night’s Pro14 clash between Munster and the Cardiff Blues.
The Munster fly-half is yet to feature for Farrell since he took over as Ireland head coach, having last played for his country at the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
And there’s a welcome return from injury for @JoeyCarbery 💪
— Munster Rugby (@Munsterrugby) February 25, 2021
Farrell was speaking to RTE, and while he admitted he was excited to see Carbery return to action, he stressed the importance of giving the 25-year-old time to get back up to speed.
‘He’s so keen to get back in there.’
“I’m absolutely delighted for Joey. I know first hand what he’s been through the last couple of years,” Farrell said.
“He has worked so hard to try and get back. On a few occasions it’s not happened for him. I’d like to praise all the medical team that’s looked after him in Munster and the IRFU .
“It’s brought him to a place where he’s comfortable and super excited about getting back on the field. What we need to be cautious about is giving Joey time. He’s been out so long. He’s so keen to get back in there to do well.
“If you give him the room and the time, let him get a number of games under his belt, I’m sure Joey will come back to be the player we all know he’s going to be.”
Ireland have experienced issues with a lack of depth at fly-half since Carbery’s injury struggles, with Billy Burns, Ross Byrne and Jack Carty all acting as back ups to Johnny Sexton on separate occasions.
With Sexton turning 36 this July, there is still no obvious successor to the Ireland number 10 jersey, but if Carbery can regain his previous form he may take the reins at fly-half in the near future.