Tuesday 6 December 2016

McGahan in dark over O'Leary Top 14 switch

John Fallon

Published 02/12/2011 | 05:00

Munster coach Tony McGahan is unaware of any proposed move by scrum-half Tomas O'Leary to a club in France.

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McGahan said he was aware of the Irish Independent reports this week linking his out of favour scrum-half with a move to a Top 14 club, but had not spoken to the player about the matter.

O'Leary lost his Munster place to Conor Murray in the latter half of last season and was then a shock omission from the World Cup squad. McGahan confirmed that O'Leary was out of contract at the end of the season, but did not know where it had emanated from that he might move to France.

"I haven't spoken to him directly at this stage. These things certainly come out at times, they have come out in the last few years from different players. Where they come from and where they are sourced from, I don't know," said McGahan.

The Munster coach is anxious that his squad remains firmly focused throughout their current block of 13 successive games.

The Australian, speaking at a Munster media day in conjunction with Lucozade at Cork Institute of Technology yesterday, said the primary focus is the trip to Ospreys tomorrow.

McGahan said he did not want to talk about the back-to-back Heineken Cup games against Scarlets which follow, but rather concentrate on the clash with an Ospreys side who turned them over in Thomond Park a few weeks ago.

"I just want to focus on the Ospreys. I think it would be detrimental to myself and the team to be talking about Scarlets stuff. We lost the game at home and we don't like losing at home. We need to take the three points back this week that we lost," he said.

McGahan said that they are fully aware of the strength of the challenge they face in the Liberty Stadium, but he is confident his men will step up. "The Ospreys are always dangerous. We will be without international players because the international management programme is still in operation this week.

"From an Ospreys perspective, they have proved to be the form side at this point in time.

They have one loss in this competition so far, they have been very competitive in the ELV Cup, where they have given their young players a run, so they have gathered a lot of experience as a group together.

"As was evident last week, when it all came together, they have been playing together for quite a while this season, so they are going to be up for it."

improved

One Munster player who will relish the battle to avenge Munster's home defeat by the Ospreys is Donnacha Ryan, who feels his own game has improved enormously from the experience of playing in the World Cup.

"I'm just mad to play ball," said the Nenagh native who will be 28 next week. "I think I've been playing pretty well over the last 18 months.

"I had a great season last year from the Magners League and into this year, so obviously trying to keep that form going and confidence going is a massive thing in any player's career.

"It has been a good few months, a great few months I suppose.

"In August, getting a few starts for Ireland was a massive achievement for my career, and then getting selected for the World Cup was a massive plus for me.

"It was great and it was nice to get a few runs over there without trying to be a passenger.

"It was great to perform on the biggest stage in the world and coming home then I've put in some good performances for Munster. Trying to keep that going is the main challenge I have."

Irish Independent

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