Monday 23 September 2019

Foley: Time to recharge the batteries

Munster head coach Anthony Foley
Munster head coach Anthony Foley

Declan Rooney

Five games into a 16-week block of consecutive matches, Munster have been handed an unexpected break from action this weekend due to the postponement of their Champions Cup pool 4 tie with Stade Francais.

Horrific events in the French capital last weekend have understandably resulted in the game being called off, but what it does give Anthony Foley and his management team is an extra week's recovery following their pool opener against Treviso and five extra days to prepare for next Saturday's Pro12 top-of-the-table derby with Connacht.

Like Munster, Pat Lam's side have won six of their first seven league games this season and are bang in form. Last weekend they picked up a bonus-point win from their Challenge Cup opener against Enisei-STM in Russia, but the three-day delay in getting home has hampered their preparations for tomorrow's tussle with Brive.

On the home front, all focus this weekend will now be on tonight's Munster 'A' versus Yorkshire Carnegie B&I Cup tie which takes place at Kinsale RFC at 8pm, but for the senior coach, a chance for his troops to rest up ahead of another tough ten weeks is most welcome.

"In such a busy 16-week period this weekend of no game was an unplanned event for us," said Foley.

"But the squad will use this chance to rest up and commence our preparation for next week's game with Connacht a little earlier than expected."

As a result of the fixture disruption, group training was moved from Friday to Thursday this week, while those squad members not involved in B&I Cup action were given the weekend off.

After the clash with Connacht, Munster travel to Wales to face the Dragons on Sunday, December 6, six days out from a key Champions Cup tie with Leicester Tigers at Thomond Park.

International Rugby Newsletter

Rugby insights and commentary from our renowned journalists like Neil Francis, Will Slattery, Alan Quinlan & Cian Tracey.

Tigers also got their Champions Cup campaign off to a flying start with a bonus-point win over Stade Francais at Welford Road last Friday.

Munster last faced Leicester in the 2006-'07 season, when the Tigers became the first visiting team to win at Thomond Park in the Heineken Cup, a result they'll be keen to avenge.

Irish Independent

The Left Wing: Ireland's fullback dilemma, World Cup bonding and the squad standby list

Also in Sport