Finn Russell Munster hoping JJ Hanrahan can make big Paris date

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Such is the injury jinx that has afflicted Munster’s fabled number 10 jersey of late that their 20-year-old Academy player Ben Healy could be pitched into his European debut, and second senior game, in the province’s make-or-break Heineken Champions Cup game against Racing 92 at the Defense Arena on Sunday.

With Joey Carbery joining Tyler Bleyendaal as a long-term absentee, Munster head coach Johann van Graan rated JJ Hanrahan as no better than a 50-50 chance due to the hamstring injury which ruled him out of their 38-17 defeat by Ulster in Belfast last Friday.

“He was out on the pitch for a while today, did a bit of team training, not at 100 per cent yet. JJ is an experienced ‘10’ and an important member of our squad. He has been the in-form ‘10’ for Munster this season.

“We will put him through a fitness test on Friday and if he comes through that, we’ll put him into training and if he comes through training, we’ll select him.”

Although rated 50-50, the odds still favour Hanrahan starting, but were he ruled out, Munster’s remaining options would then be between Healy or inside centre Rory Scannell.

“We’ve been in this position before and it’s next man in. We will back JJ to be ready [but] I’m definitely not going to risk him because of the importance of this game. We’re really hopeful that he will be ready and if not, really excited to see Ben and Rory.”

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