Saturday 17 February 2018

Frustrated Stringer could walk away from Munster

PETER STRINGER accepts that this season may well be his last with Munster, but the veteran scrum-half remains determined to prove that he still has a future with the province.

Stringer, who turns 34 next month, has found himself on the periphery of Tony McGahan's plans so far this campaign and admits that playing his rugby elsewhere next season is a strong possibility.

While Conor Murray and Tomas O'Leary were taking care of scrum-half duties against Castres in the Heineken Cup last weekend, Stringer had to settle for a place on the bench for the Munster 'A' side's British and Irish Cup win over Neath, as Duncan Williams was handed the No 9 shirt.

Nevertheless, Stringer believes he can still make a significant contribution for Munster, but the Corkman is in no rush to make a decision about where he'll be playing his rugby next season.

"My contract with Munster is up at the end of the season and there are a lot of decisions to be made between now and then," said the 98-times capped Irish international, who'll start alongside the likes of Brian Habana, Danny Cipriani, Victor Matfield and Jerome Kaino for the Barbarians in Saturday's game against Australia at Twickenham.


"I just want to be playing high-level rugby and that hasn't been the case so far this season. But I'll see how things go over the next couple of months.

"If I find myself in the same position, then I'll have to reassess, but it's difficult to know now. I love Munster and I wouldn't want to play anywhere else, but I want to be playing regularly, like every player does, so we'll have to wait and see."

Munster's Heineken Cup campaign has started with dramatic wins over Northampton and Castres inside the last fortnight and Stringer hasn't enjoyed the unfamiliar feeling of being on the outside looking in.

"Watching those games at home on TV has been pretty hard," he said. "It's the first time in a long while that I haven't been part of that, so it has been frustrating.

"I still love the game when I'm out there playing; all I've ever wanted to do is play at the highest level. Every player strives for that and I'll continue to do strive for it.

"I'd feel like I was letting myself down if I just gave up. I'm certainly keen to play for another couple of years. The ambition is still there."

Irish Independent

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