CONOR MURRAY’S TEMPORARY replacement, former All Black Alby Mathewson, has arrived in Limerick and has linked up with his new team-mates but will not feature when Munster travel to Glasgow later this week.
The 32-year-old, capped five times by New Zealand, is waiting on a work permit but with Neil Cronin crowning his first start with a solid display against the Cheetahs on Saturday, and James Hart, Duncan Williams and Jack Stafford all available, coach Johann van Graan has plenty of cover.
Van Graan again stated yesterday at his weekly press conference at the province’s headquarters in University of Limerick, that he was unable to comment on Murray’s injury.
Murray is believed to be suffering from a neck or shoulder injury which has prompted Munster to bring in the experienced Mathewson on a four-month deal.
Mathewson joins after making 19 appearances for Toulon last season but has been out of contract since the end of the Top 14 campaign.
“He left Toulon a few weeks ago and returned to Perth,” said van Graan.
“I’m treating him as an injured player that is returning. He’s in very good physical condition. If you look at him obviously he’s been training on his own. One of the reasons why we got him is he is a true professional, looks after the body very well across his whole career.”
Munster’s early season seems to be all about the number nine shirt with Cronin, younger brother of Leinster hooker Sean, making an impressive first start in the 38-0 win over the Cheetahs.