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Highlights on Off The Ball


Johann Van Graan on Ben Healy | 'We're hopeful he stays'

Munster head coach Johann van Graan says he remains "hopeful" that the province will be able to p...

Munster head coach Johann van Graan says he remains "hopeful" that the province will be able to persuade Ben Healy to stay next season.

The 21-year-old academy outhalf has become a key member of the senior squad this season, playing all but one game of the PRO14 campaign, and is currently second in the league's scoring charts with 57 points.

However, the Tipperary man is coming to the end of his academy contract at the end of the season, and recent reports have linked him with a move to the Glasgow Warriors - with the understanding he is currently also qualified to play for Scotland.

Contract talks in Ireland have been placed on hold as the IRFU conducts their own financial projections.

Speaking to OTB Sports at the launch of this season's Heineken Champions Cup, Munster head coach Johann van Graan says he would not go into detail about contract situations, but made it clear he wants to see Healy in a Munster shirt for seasons to come.

Johann Van Graan on Ben Healy

"I'm never going to get involved in contract talks in the media. They are private and confidential. All I will say is Ben is a very important player to the future of Munster.

"He is a class individual, and hopefully he will stay at Munster. But there is a very clear directive from the IRFU as to what we can and cant do at this stage.

"That's one brilliant thing about the Irish system is the alignment between national team, the IRFU and the four provinces and we are very much aligned to that."

Healy is likely to stay heavily involved with the senior team in the coming months, with Van Graan revealing they are yet to put a timeline on Joe Carbery's return to action.

The Irish international hasn't played since January when he injured his wrist against Ulster, before Munster ruled him out indefinitely in August, as he deals with a persistent ankle issue, dating back to before the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

"He's doing very well, working very hard," Van Graan says.

"But there's no timeline on Joey. We want him to recover fully. He's in good spirits, contributing to the team but there is no current update on a timeline.

"We took all the pressure off him in terms of a timeline. He's working day-in and day-out to get his body right and that's the good thing about having no timeline. It's not like 'he's got to be back for this date and if he's not 100 percent you push a extra little bit every day'. He's in the hands of our medical and athletic performance team. We're doing everything we can at this stage, we have a plan we're working towards and he will play when he's ready again".

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Ben Healy Heineken Champions Cup Joey Carbery Johann Van Graan Munster Rugby