Munster’s logistical nightmare as Rowntree’s men face gruelling April in South Africa

Munster face two trips to South Africa in April

Cian Tracey

Munster are unlikely to spend a prolonged period in South Africa around their Champions Cup round of 16 clash with the Sharks in Durban on April 1.

That's despite the province having to return to South Africa for a URC double header against the Stormers and the Sharks two weeks later.

Munster’s logistical team are working hard behind the scenes to put plans in place in order to minimise the level of disruption as much as possible.

Graham Rowntree’s men are facing a hectic April, which could see them play against South African opposition for four consecutive weeks.

However, with Toulouse favourites to overcome the Bulls at home, the most likely scenario for Munster, if they were to beat the Sharks in the afternoon (1.30 local time) South African heat, is a return trip to France to take on the five-time European champions.

The Irish Independent understands that Munster intend to treat the Champions Cup meeting with the Sharks like other away games, in that they will travel to South Africa for the weekend, with a day on either side to allow for the additional travel involved.

Should they reach the quarter-final, Munster will train as normal at their base in Limerick before returning to South Africa for the URC double header the following week.

That trip would have been booked earlier in the season, and as it is a longer spell away from home, Munster will train in South Africa in the build up to both league games against the Stormers and Sharks.

Despite the costs involved in travelling to the Rainbow Nation, Munster, who have confirmed that highly-regarded Academy manager, Ian Costello, will take on a newly created role of head of rugby operations at the end of this season, are confident that they are well-equipped to handle what will be a busy April.