Tuesday 11 December 2018

O'Donnell is desperate for glory after difficult spell

'O'Donnell thinks Scarlets are the perfect opponents this weekend' Photo: Sportsfile
'O'Donnell thinks Scarlets are the perfect opponents this weekend' Photo: Sportsfile

Declan Rooney

Injury robbed Munster flanker Tommy O'Donnell of the chance to be a Grand Slam hero with Ireland, but he hopes that he can end the season with some silverware for his province.

O'Donnell looks set for a major role with Munster in the weeks ahead after he recovered from a shoulder injury and in the absence of Chris Cloete, and he hopes that Saturday's opponents Scarlets, who beat them in last season's PRO14 final, can show them the way past Toulon in the Champions Cup quarter-final.

On Saturday week the French giants visit Thomond Park, but after plotting their way past Toulon in the pool stages, O'Donnell thinks Scarlets are the perfect opponents this weekend.

"Scarlets have played Toulon twice this season in two very good games, especially their last home game," said O'Donnell.

"They kind of gave a kind of blueprint of how you need to go out and play against Toulon and we'll get a good idea of what it takes to beat Toulon if we play well against Scarlets.

"I know it's easy to look forward to a quarter-final but when you're looking at such a good team like Scarlets in front of you, you have to deal with them first and you have to approach them with every bit of sincerity and due diligence because they are such a good team.


"They can score from anywhere as we've seen with the two games with them last season, we'll have to be on the ball and worry about them, and then worry about next week when it becomes next Monday."

O'Donnell was a replacement last Friday night as Munster joined Leinster and Ulster in suffering recent defeats to an in-form Edinburgh.

It was a scattered display from Johann van Graan's side in a game that originally fell foul to the recent wintry conditions.

Elsewhere, Connacht backs coach Nigel Carolan says Kyle Godwin is the first of a number of big signings for the side.

Connacht are at home to Edinburgh in the PRO14 this weekend and they have been boosted by the capture of the 25-year-old Brumbies centre.

Godwin, who can play from out-half through to full-back, was capped by Australia against France in November 2016.

And Carolan believes he can provide the ideal cover for Ireland international Bundee Aki, once he arrives at the end of the current Super Rugby campaign.

"We hope he will make a similar impact as Bundee did," said Carolan. "He has played right across the backline and has a wider skill-set. They will complement each other very well.

"We have some exciting signings to be announced in the next couple weeks as well."

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