Thursday 18 January 2018

O'Callaghan wants Munster to show their mettle

John Fallon

He may have played 210 times for Munster, but Donncha O'Callaghan's appetite is as strong as ever and he believes the next few weeks will test the current crop of players.

The 33-year-old reckons they have only themselves to blame for getting in a bind in the Heineken Cup and, to a lesser degree, the Pro12. But O'Callaghan believes that this predicament presents the squad with the opportunity to show their mettle.

"It's all on at the moment. We probably haven't given ourselves the easiest of tasks and it is going to be a real test of all of us," he said.

"We will see what Munster means to fellas."

O'Callaghan promised that Munster will be fired up for the visit of Ulster to Thomond Park on Saturday and they will then host Cardiff Blues before the remaining pool games in the Heineken Cup away to Edinburgh and then at home to Racing Metro.

For now, though, their entire focus is on turning over Ulster, who pipped them 20-19 at Ravenhill earlier this season, having dumped them out of the Heineken Cup with that 22-16 success in the quarter-finals at Thomond Park in April.

"They have been the dominant team in the league and they have beaten us a fair few times. They have been performing week in, week out, and they have been the standard bearers.

"We know we will have to improve a lot to live with a team in that sort of form," said O'Callaghan.

"These are the sort of big games where everyone needs to perform to their best.

"But these are the games you love. They are the ones that really count. It'll be a great game."

Irish Independent

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