Saturday 16 December 2017

There’s no way Heineken Cup will be allowed fade away, says Munster coach Penney

Munster coach Rob Penney
Munster coach Rob Penney
Conor George

Conor George

MUNSTER coach Rob Penney is confident a solution to the current impasse regarding the future of the Heineken Cup will be found.

The board of the ERC are meeting in Dublin today to discuss the statement issued yesterday by the English Premiership clubs. In that statement they signalled their intention to boycott the competition from next season and form a new enterprise.

Penney believes the Heineken Cup is too prestigious a tournament to be allowed fade into oblivion.

“We’ll have to wait-and-see what comes out of the meetings and negotiations but I can’t see the people behind the competition allowing it be lost to us,” said Penney.

“The European Cup is too prestigious a competition not to continue. There is a glamour and a status with the competition that excites everyone involved.

“It is in the best interests of everyone involved that the competition continues in whatever guise and I expect it will,” he added.

Penney takes his Munster squad to Italy for a 10 day camp from tomorrow. They play Zebre and Treviso in the Celtic League during their stay.

“It will be great to have the players in the one place for 10 days. Obviously it is challenging in Munster when we work from two centres so this will be a good change for us.”

Munster opened their season with a win over Edinburgh last weekend and Penney is confident they will build on that positive start in Italy.

“Zebre put in a very robust challenge against Connacht at the weekend and are a better team than some people give them credit for.

“We know how dangerous Treviso can be from last season. This will be a good ten days for us but a challenging one too with two very tough games to play,” he added.

Munster are taking a squad of 33 to Italy but Paul O’Connell and Conor Murray will remain in Limerick to continue their individual pre-season programmes.

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