Limerick Rugby
Don't Miss

Munster determined to run champions Leinster close in the RDS

IF the vibes coming from the Munster Rugby camp this week are anything to go on, Leinster are in for a right good battle next Saturday at the RDS. The current European champions may be hot favourites to take that step closer to the double but they will be tested by their very committed traditional rivals in this Guinness PRO14 Championship semi-final.
It was not difficult to identify the hunger of the Munster players for this derby game. They were aware of what is at stake if they lose: a third defeat at the hands of their great rivals this season, another league knock-out disappointment in succession and another season without silverware.
“We are treating this as just another game,” said coach Johaan Graan. Every game brings different challenges and we will be prepared and ready to take on that challenge on Saturday.”
Peter O’Mahony is aware of what is ahead of his side. He told us that this will be his first time playing in the RDS against Leinster: “The squad has trained well, these are the games you want to be involved in and we will be ready. Both teams know one another pretty well due to the international camps and while the old rivarly between the provinces has softened a bit now, it is sure to be a hard-fought game.”
The fixture, involving two of the four Irish provinces, will also be something of an ‘Irish trial’ with players battling to impress coach Joe Schmidt for inclusion in the forthcoming Irish tour to Australia next month. Rory Scannell is one of those in contention: “Ah, we won’t be thinking of that, we will be focussing on a good team performance and a win over Leinster.”
Other news today concerns Munster Rugby and the IRFU’s confirmation of the one-year signing of South African back row Arno Botha (pictured). The 26-year-old, currently with London Irish, will join the province at the beginning of the 2018/19 season, subject to medical clearance and obtaining a work permit.
Botha, an explosive ball carrier who plays flanker and number eight, played his entire professional career with the Blue Bulls before moving to London in January.
A former South Africa U20s captain, he featured for the Springboks on two occasions in 2013.
Commenting on the signing, Head Coach Johann van Graan said: “In building our squad for next season I believe Arno will be a great addition to our side, adding further depth and strength to our back row options.
“From my time with the Bulls and South Africa I have first-hand experience of what Arno is capable of. A physical ball carrier and lineout jumper, he leads by example with his work-rate, commitment and physicality, and we look forward to welcoming him to the province.”

You must be logged in to post a comment Login