Munster kick-off mammoth eight-game run

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

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Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

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ckinsella@limerickleader.ie

Munster kick-off mammoth eight-game run

MUNSTER kick-start a hugely demanding section of their season away to Glasgow this Friday night, with the province facing eight crucial Guinness PRO12 and European Champions Cup fixtures in December and January.

Rassie Erasmus' in-form Munster side face a trip to Scotstoun on Friday night when the Glasgow Warriors provide the opposition for a high stakes Guinness Pro12 fixture, 7.35pm, live TG4.

Beyond that, Munster lock horns with old foes Leicester Tigers for back-to-back European Champions Cup fixtures, before facing two marquee inter-provincial fixtures against Leinster and Connacht over Christmas and the New Year's period.

In January, Munster will take on Racing 92 in a re-arranged Champions Cup fixture in Paris at the start of the month, before completing their Pool 1 European Cup fixtures against Glasgow Warriors and finally French champions Racing 92 at Thomond Park on the weekend of January 20-22.

On the back of five successive wins, including three in the Guinness Pro12, Munster have moved top of the league, one point ahead of arch rivals Leinster.

Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus says the squad has benefitted from a injection of confidence, especially down to wins away from home, in recent weeks.

Erasmus said: “Confidence I believe, winning home matches builds confidence and when you lose home matches you lose a lot of confidence, like the Cardiff game.

“When you win away from home that’s when you build up confidence.

“Normally you will see commitment in the defence and confidence in attack. You will always see a combative team who feels for one another defending really well but sometimes when the confidence lacks the attack suffers under that.

“When guys are starting to attack and at training sessions trying to do things within their skill-set, when the opportunity is there I think then confidence is shining through, I think then the most important thing is to make sure that confidence doesn’t turn into arrogance.

“That’s the balance that you always want to have. You can so quickly go into arrogance and everything falls flat again.”

Erasmus said Ireland achievement in beating the three big Southern Hemisphere rugby powers in the same year provided a boost to all Irish provinces.

“For all of us it’s great, for Leinster, Munster, Ulster, Connacht. It’s good for Irish rugby, for World Rugby that Australia and New Zealand have been beaten by Ireland. It’s good for the Northern Hemisphere.”