Tuesday 16 July 2019

'It's such a tough draw' - van Graan admits Munster face 'massive challenge' to emerge from group of death

Munster head coach Johann van Graan. Photo: Sportsfile
Munster head coach Johann van Graan. Photo: Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Munster head coach Johann van Graan insists his side face a 'massive challenge' to emerge from a daunting Champions Cup pool that includes the defending champions Saracens, as well as Racing 92 and the Ospreys.

All four Irish provinces will compete in Europe's premier tournament next season with Munster, unquestionably, drawn in the 'group of death'.

"This pool is full of top quality sides and it will be a massive challenge," Van Graan admitted.

"It's such a tough draw but that's why it's called the Champions Cup and that's why we want to be in this competition, it will be a very exciting challenge."

Leinster, meanwhile, will be happy with their draw as they will face Lyon, Northampton and Benetton - although Leo Cullen did warn against potential pitfalls for the 2018 champions.

"We have seen over the last few years just how difficult it is to compete in this competition and as always the first priority will be to get out of our pool and doing that in Pool 1 will not be easy," the Leinster boss said.

"Overall it's a very competitive pool but we very much look forward to the challenge that it presents, in particular in a World Cup season."

Elsewhere, Connacht will take on Toulouse, Gloucester and Montpellier, while Ulster will be up against Clermont, Harlequins and Bath.

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