Saturday 21 April 2018

Anthony Foley determined Munster will bounce back from Pro12 final pain

Munster head coach Anthony Foley
Munster head coach Anthony Foley
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Munster coach Anthony Foley says the pain of their Guinness Pro12 final defeat will drive their search for silverware this season.

The province were well beaten by Glasgow Warriors in Belfast last May and, ahead of his second season in charge, the former Ireland No8 believes his coaching staff are better set for success in 2015/16.

“When you lose a final, you want to taste the other side of it. In Europe, we lost a few before we won a few so hopefully we can get back to the play-offs and knockouts and go from there,” Foley said at today’s Pro12 launch in London.

“We, as a group, we know each other a bit better. It was my first year as a head coach and the other coaches know me a bit better now. We went through a lot, we’re a young coaching group and there are new challenges ahead.

“We need to keep players fit, to keep our injury list low and having a fluid gameplan that allows you to play with both experienced and inexperienced players.”

Stand-in captain Denis Hurley said the squad have to be selfish about the season ahead and can’t dwell on the loss of Paul O’Connell who moves to Toulon at the end of the season.

And he believes the squad can withstand the loss of the World Cup players for the first weeks of the season.

“One thing we’ve been lucky with is that Peter O’Mahony is our club captain and he’s only 25. We have a few lads away at the World Cup, but we have the likes of Donncha O’Callaghan who has a lot of experience,” the Corkman said.

“Losing Paul is a big loss, but we have to be selfish about what we’re doing and be about what we want to achieve. A lot of characters who can put us in finals as well.

“You have to get a good start, you don’t want to be lagging behind. European qualification made things a lot tougher in that top six and if you can take a few wins from that first six games it can stand you in good stead.”

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