Munster CEO Ian Flanagan has confirmed that the province intend to fulfil their upcoming Heineken Champions Cup fixture against Wasps.
After becoming stranded in South Africa for a number of days following the identification of the Omicron Covid-19 variant in the country, Munster were able to fly a group of 34 players and staff home to Ireland from Cape Town, with the plane landing in Dublin on Wednesday evening.
A group of 14 players and staff are still in South Africa, as they tested positive for Covid-19 and have to complete a period of self-isolation in Cape Town.
The players who arrived home will come out of a mandatory 10-day quarantine period the day before Munster’s encounter with Wasps on Sunday, December 12th, but it is not yet known whether they will be considered for the game.
Munster could be heavily reliant on academy players.
As a result, Munster could be missing up to 33 players for their opening Champions Cup match, and may have to rely on a mixture of Ireland internationals, academy players and even All Ireland League players to field a match-day squad against Wasps.
Flanagan was speaking in a video posted by Munster’s in-house media channel and voiced the province’s determination to send a team over to Coventry to face Wasps.
“As well as our international players, we have rehabbing players, players from our academy, our provincial talent squad players, we have national talent squad players all training together at the HPC [High Performance Centre] at the moment,” Flanagan said.
“As long as we can field a squad of 23 players who can go out there and represent Munster, we intend to complete the fixture and take the field against Wasps.”
? VIDEO | Munster Rugby CEO Ian Flanagan has provided the latest update from the organisation after a challenging week.
— Munster Rugby (@Munsterrugby) December 2, 2021
EPCR change player registration rules.
EPCR have announced changes to their player registration rules in light of the four United Rugby Championship teams who travelled to South Africa recently.
Munster, Cardiff, Scarlets and Zebre could all be without the bulk of their squads for their upcoming matches in the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup, which has prompted EPCR to allow clubs to register an unlimited number of new players before December 8th.
Scarlets had called on EPCR to postpone their upcoming Champions Cup game against Bristol Bears, as the Welsh club only have 14 players currently in training, with the bulk of their squad currently in isolation in Belfast.
EPCR’s announcement on player registration rules suggests that they will not be postponing any fixtures, despite Scarlets’ concerns over player welfare.