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Published: 11:02 | 10/9/16

Scannell & O’Donnell suffer head injuries

Munster pair Rory Scannell and Tommy O’Donnell are set for a spell on the sidelines after sustaining head injuries in the 24-23 Pro 12 home defeat to Cardiff Blues on Friday night.

Munster head coach Rassie Erasmus admits the injuries to the duo affected his side's rhythm, as they crashed to a single-point defeat at Irish Independent Park just a week after their confidence-boosting win on the road at Scarlets.

"I thought we could have taken a lot out of this game if we didn't have those injuries and the guys stuck to their guns, but unfortunately we didn't and now we still have the injuries," the South African said.

Erasmus is looking on the bright side, insisting the injuries are a chance for the younger members of the squad to stake their claim for a first-team place, and also pointing out that Conor Murray, Keith Earls and Peter O’Mahony are all close to a return.

Scrum-half Murray and utility back Earls should be fit for the Pro12 trip to Wales to face Dragons next Saturday, while back row O'Mahony should return to face Edinburgh at Thomond Park the following week.

"Now we're going to get a young centre pairing together and if you pull through these games it's a massive thing and one mustn't forget about that and those things can always be a hell of a positive," he said.

"And Conor should be back and Earls should be back and Peter could be back, but we must be careful.

"It’s a very long season to next year in May so we mustn’t rush any of the guys, so that’s why we’re sticking with the young guys and giving opportunities."

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