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Johann van Graan allays concerns around Damian De Allende

Good news for Munster fans.

As Damian De Allende left the pitch with 10 minutes to go despite Munster having no replacements remaining, there was concern that the World Cup winner may have picked up a knock.

However, Munster head coach Johann van Graan explained that there was nothing wrong with de Allende, he simply wanted to give the centre a rest after playing back-to-back games.

“No, we just took him off the pitch,” van Graan said after seeing his side claim a 49-12 win over Connacht.

“The game was won and we just tried to protect him. He hasn’t played a lot of rugby. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with him, we just said we’d finish the game off with 14 for the last 10 minutes.”

De Allende impressed once again and the early signs of his partnership with Chris Farrell in midfield certainly look promising.

Munster now face into a five-day turnaround where they will play Leinster in the PRO14 semi-final on Friday. Their opponents, on the other hand, have a six-day turnaround with the added benefit of sending out their second-string to face Ulster on Saturday.

Van Graan says his squad will be focussing on recovery this week.

“It’s the shortest turnaround that we’ve had in years.
“Those are the cards we’ve been dealt, so we’ll get back to Limerick and Cork tonight, literally have one training session and we’re back here on Thursday.
“It’s all about recovery but that’s the challenge of sports and that’s what we’ve got to do. We’ll be back here on Friday evening against the champions in their back yard.”
Munster face Leinster in the Guinness PRO14 semi-final on Friday at 7.35pm in the Aviva Stadium.

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Author: Sean McMahon

Sean is Deputy Editor and head rugby writer. You can contact him by email seanmc@punditarena.com or on Twitter