Conor Murray says the enforced break from rugby has only heightened his desire to end Munster’s long wait for a trophy.
The Ireland scrum-half is one of a few survivors from the province’s 2011 Celtic League win and he is hoping the addition of Springbok World Cup winners Damian de Allende and RG Snyman will help get them over the line when the sport resumes.
Both players, as well as Matt Gallagher and Roman Salanoa, will be available for the curtailed PRO14 run-in planned for August and September.
And Murray believes they can help take the province to the next level.
"When we get back up and running, those two guys are going to be huge. There are others (new signings) too, but they are the two guys people are talking about at the moment for obvious reasons," Murray said on a video to promote McSport’s MY MOTIVATION campaign.
"What they did at the World Cup was really special, I’m a bit jealous of it, but it was incredible.
"For two guys like that to come to our squad when our squad has been there or thereabouts and just come up short in quite a few semi-finals…
"That’s been part of my time off, thinking about Munster. It’s your club, your bread and butter. Winning something with Munster would be…. I’ve been very lucky to win with Ireland and go on a couple of Lions tours – they’re great, but genuinely winning something with Munster is something burning with me, something I really want to do.
"I’m excited that those two lads are walking around Limerick.
"I’m realising that opportunities to play in quarter-finals, semi-finals, finals are few and far between.
"You realise how hard you have to work to get there, how hard it is to challenge for trophies. I just want to be there or thereabouts and get into those situations with a really strong Munster squad.
"Hopefully, we can gel. Going back to play with the squad we have, with additions. With the coaching staff, especially with Stephen Larkham there – it’s on a platter, it’s up to the players to take the learnings and go."
Murray reckons the extended break from rugby will be of huge benefit to him when he returns.
"This is an unbelievable chance to refresh yourself, to flush any niggles in your body out of your system," he said.
"Train away anyway, stay fresh and as fit as you can be. Match fitness will come.
"The mental side is the biggest benefit I’ve found. Get away from the game and re-focus, I’ve made a whole new list of goals now. When I got a break I took a look at what I’ve done so far in my career and what I want to do for the rest of it.
"It was really beneficial and I know that when I get back in, day one, I’m going to be really hungry to train with the lads and get back playing.
"Whether it’s in a stadium full of fans, that’s not looking likely at the moment, but just playing rugby for the love of it, for the competitive drive of it. It’ll be great.
"Hopefully, it can add a year or two at the end of your career. Some players in the Southern Hemisphere have taken sabbaticals, it’s pretty much one of them.
"It’s been tough, but I’m looking at it positively."