Sean McMahon reports from Thomond Park.
Munster may be happy that they came out of today’s encounter with Gloucester with five points in the bag but there was disappointment written all over Johann van Graan’s face when he spoke to the media after the game when discussing the injuries sustained by his squad.
Tommy O’Donnell was the first to go and the Munster head coach revealed that he suffered a suspected broken leg and that the Tipperary man has been taken to hospital.
For Rhys Marshall, who was replaced by Kevin O’Byrne at the interval, Van Graan revealed that he sustained an upper leg injury while Dan Goggin, who had to be helped from the field at the end of the game, suffered a serious knee injury.
“Yeah, serious. Tommy has gone to the hospital, no confirmation yet but I believe he broke his leg. Dan Goggin looks like a serious knee injury. We also lost Rhys Marshall which looked like a serious upper leg injury so we’ll know more on Monday.
Van Graan bemoaned the fact that the players who received injuries were “starters” and the increased physicality of the modern game, in addition to the “niggly” nature of the encounter, contributed to those players leaving the field.
“Big loss, only eight weeks into the season and three starters that go down like this. With all the injuries that we have currently that are not in the squad, long season ahead but…it just shows the game at this stage.
“We talk about player welfare but the game is becoming more and more physical, guys are getting shots, three serious injuries from our side. I don’t know about the opposition, it looked like their hooker was in quite a bit of pain when he came off just before halftime, I don’t know about the rest. Huge for us, those three guys.”
Munster are particularly getting thin in the hooker and centre positions and the current injury list in that regard is as follows: Niall Scannell, Rhys Marshall, Chris Farrell, Dan Goggin and Jaco Taute.
“Yeah, as coaches we briefly spoke about it inside. Niall [Scannell] took a blow to the leg early in the week. We’re pretty thin there at this stage.
“Luckily we’ve got Mike Sherry as well, he should be raring to go. At centre, Jaco [Taute] took a blow to his other knee which is a bone bruising which is taking a bit longer than we anticipated. Chris Farrell is not back yet. Now Goggin being injured. Luckily we’re not the only club struggling with that. Like I said, all the injuries seem pretty big, there’s not a lot of soft tissue. Sometimes when you get soft tissue you can adapt your training but it’s all big trauma injuries.”