Sunday 21 October 2018

Johann Van Graan's rallying cry for 'special club with special people'

 

Munster Head coach Johann van Graan Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Munster Head coach Johann van Graan Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Rúaidhrí O'Connor

Johann Van Graan has issued a rallying cry for Munster fans ahead of his side's all-or-nothing Champions Cup semi-final against Racing 92 in Bordeaux, saying: "I believe".

The two-time European champions have lost three semi-finals since they last won the title 10 years ago and found the going too tough against Saracens at this stage last season.

Keith Earls, Jack O'Donoghue, James Hart and James Cronin are in a race to be fit for Sunday's game, with today's training at the University of Limerick key to their chances.

Van Graan believes they have improved since that defeat at the Aviva Stadium and says he has confidence in the players' ability to deliver.

"This is a special club with special people. I can't stress enough the players and management really want to do it and I believe we can," he said.

"The main thing I've learnt from semi-finals is that you have got to embrace the expectation. You've got to enjoy it, it's such a massive game. It's 80 minutes away, then you play in a Champions Cup final in Spain.

"If you fall short there's no second place. It's all or nothing, but again that's why you want to be part of this.

"It's why you play, why you're in management… to get to games like this and know that your team pulls it through.

"It's four quality teams in the semi-finals, two will make it and two won't and I hope that we're good enough."

Irish Independent

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