Thursday 17 January 2019

Gloucester never fulfilled their potential, claims Horan

Marcus Horan. Photo: Sportsfile
Marcus Horan. Photo: Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Marcus Horan remembers the days when Kingsholm was one of the more difficult venues in Europe.

Gloucester might not pose the same kind of threat that they did in their heyday, but there is no doubt that they still have enough quality to cause Munster plenty of problems, especially with the timely return of Danny Cipriani.

Add the Friday night kick-off element to the equation and suddenly this evening's mouthwatering encounter has the potential to turn Kingsholm into the fortress of old.

For all of the slogs that Horan endured in Gloucester's backyard, however, the former loosehead believes that the English side never went on achieve their promise.

Gloucester are still without a Premiership title or the Heineken Cup and instead have had to settle for two Challenge Cups.

Incredible

"It's an incredible atmosphere there," Horan, who played 225 times for Munster, said.

"From the years that we played them, they are a team that never fulfilled their potential, I think.

"They would have been a very much forward-orientated team and the times that we won over there, it really knocked them for six.

"They will definitely feel that there is an opportunity now for them to turn Munster over because they are developing as well.

"When they were in Limerick, I spoke to David Humphreys (director of rugby) just before the game and he was under no illusions that they were up against it in Thomond Park.

"They had a young team, they are still developing and, he said himself, they are still kinda in a transitional period.

"But even since they have played there, I think they have improved hugely. They had some big results in their own league and obviously beating Exeter has been huge for them as well.

"It's not going to be an easy game by any stretch of the imagination. In some ways, they have nothing to lose. They are at home, people probably didn't expect them to get out of the group, so I think that can be a dangerous recipe for Munster."

Irish Independent

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