Munster: Covid-hit Irish province add 22 young players to Champions Cup squad

Patrick Campbell on All-Ireland League duty for Young Munster in October
Patrick Campbell is among the Munster academy players who could now feature in Sunday’s Champions Cup opener against Wasps

Covid-hit Munster have added 22 young players to their European Champions Cup squad in the build-up to Sunday’s opener against Wasps.

The majority of Munster’s squad are either isolating at home or remain in South Africa following the Covid cases that arose on the abandoned trip.

Peter O’Mahony and Conor Murray are among seven internationals available as they did not travel to South Africa.

All 22 players called up are under the age of 21.

These include recent arrivals to the Munster academy Tony Butler, Patrick Campbell and Edwin Edogbo, although the majority of the squad additions are players from the National and Provincial Talent squads who have featured in the All-Ireland League this season.

Campbell, who previously played gaelic football for the Cork minor team, could be in contention for a full-back role in Sunday’s game in Coventry.

Unlike Scarlets, who have conceded their away European opener to Bristol because the vast majority of their squad are still quarantining in Belfast following their return from South Africa, Munster seem set to fulfil Sunday’s fixture.

Fourteen Munster players and staff remain in South Africa after testing positive for Covid-19, with 34 personnel also still undergoing mandatory self-isolation following their return to Ireland on 1 December.

In addition to O’Mahony and Murray, Joey Carbery, Tadhg Beirne, Keith Earls, Dave Kilcoyne and Andrew Conway are set to be available after not travelling to South Africa because of their involvement in Ireland’s successful November games.

Damian de Allende is also in contention to feature on Saturday after missing the trip because of his participation in South Africa’s autumn Tests, while Ireland centre Chris Farrell and prop Roman Salanoa could also be in contention following injury spells.

Munster squad additions for European Champions Cup

Forwards: Edwin Edogbo (lock), John Forde (back row), Nicky Greene (back row), Alessandro Heaney (loosehead prop), Peter Hyland (back row), Jack Kelleher (back row), Darragh McCarthy (tight-head prop), Darragh McSweeney (tight-head prop), Conor Moloney (back row), Dylan Murphy (hooker), Fearghail O’Donoghue (back row), Jack O’Sullivan (back row), Kieran Ryan (loose-head prop)

Backs: Tony Butler (fly-half), Patrick Campbell (full-back/wing), George Coomber (wing), Alan Flannery (centre), Darragh French (centre), Adam Maher (scrum-half), Andrew O’Mahony (scrum-half), Jack Oliver (scrum-half), Jamie Shanahan (wing)

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