Sunday 23 October 2016

'We are the weak link in our Champions Cup pool' - Rassie Erasmus' comments show just how far Munster have fallen

Published 05/10/2016 | 12:08

Munster defence coach Jacques Nienaber (left), here with Rassie Erasmus
Munster defence coach Jacques Nienaber (left), here with Rassie Erasmus

MUNSTER supremo Rassie Erasmus says his team are the weak-link in Pool 1 of the Champions Cup.

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The two-time champions’ director of rugby says Leicester, Glasgow Warriors and Racing Metro will all be looking at their games against the Reds for the points they need to get out of their pool.

Munster are the bottom seeds for the pool and have been handed a fiendishly difficult pool.

And the South African said the team’s history in the competition is a responsibility his players must bear as they look to get out of their pool for the first time in three years.

“When look at the pool, you look for the easy games and when you look at this group you quickly realise that you are the easy game. We have to change that perception,” he said at this morning’s Champions Cup launch at Dublin's Convention Centre.

“We’re in the pool because of our own performances last year and we’ll have to improve.

“We’re getting there, it’s going to be a step up in the next three weeks. It’s good to be playing well in Pro12, but there are not a lot of weaknesses in the opponents we’re going to face. The challenge that we’re going to face are big.

“Big responsibility to our guys, understand how important it is. In two weeks’ time I’ll know about it.”

Erasmus’s captain Peter O’Mahony made a timely return to action last weekend against Zebre and described the chance to play again after almost a year out as a “special” moment.

“The body’s ok,” he said. “I got 20 mins last week. The lungs were bursting, but great to be back. It’s nearly a year since I last played rugby,  the best part of 18 months since playing for Munster.

“It was emotional, when you’re getting nervous on Wednesday for a Saturday game it’s different, but it’s been a long time. The butterflies were going, but it was special for the family.”

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