Friday 24 January 2020

Racing 92 hoping to keep cool heads in Bordeaux heat and will seek 'water breaks'

Peter O'Mahony
Peter O'Mahony

Ruaidhri O'Connor at Stade Chaban-Delmas

Racing 92 coach Laurent Travers believes the Bordeaux heat will be a major factor in his side’s clash with Munster tomorrow, but he does not believe it gives the French side an advantage.

Temperatures in the city are set to hit 28 degrees at kick-off at Stade Chaban-Delmas as the two sides go head to head for the third time this season.

That will undoubtedly test both team’s fitness, but the coach does not see the Irish province wilting.

“This is something we’ll have to take into account,” he said after overseeing a light work-out at the stadium this afternoon.

“Heat is one of the factors and it will have an impact, especially towards the end of the match.

“We'll have to deal with it and I hope there will be a water break so that the players are able to recover.

“But whether it's sunny, windy or rainy, it's the same for both teams anyway and they will have the same problem.”

France scrum-half Maxime Machenaud believes Munster will look to keep the tempo up despite the searing heat.

 “We know the Irish will want to put a lot of speed into the game and we will have to handle that and then take into account the heat,” the Racing skipper said.

“It’s clear that the bodies will tire and it’s going to be a very intense match but we're aware of that.

“That’s just sport.

“There's a lot of pressure. My whole family from Bordeaux, my friends, my brother, my mother and father, will be here and so the match is very special for me.

"It's a European Cup semi-final, I just have to brush that aside and move on. It gives me a lot of energy and excitement but I know what I have to do on the pitch."

Travers believes the presence of former Munster and Ireland lock Donnacha Ryan in the Racing dressing-room is a big benefit to his side.

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