MUNSTER back-row forward Paddy Butler insists the absence of their Irish stars through the autumn international series is a great opportunity for squad members to show their worth ahead of key PRO12 and European Champions Cup games.
Shannon player Butler, who scored Munster’s match-winning try in their recent Guinness PRO12 win over Cardiff, is looking forward to the league resuming this Friday when Anthony Foley’s side visit Rodney Parade to take on the Newport Gwent Dragons, 7.30pm.
Munster will again be without their Irish stars who are busily preparing for Saturday’s autumn international showdown with Australia at the Aviva Stadium.
Paddy Butler said: “I think everyone looks at this period as an opportunity for those who haven’t been in the squad for the past couple of weeks for the bigger games.
“This is our chance to put our hand up for selection. You have to take it when you get the chances at Munster, in a team like this you have to take your chances when you get them.
“The time we have had off recharges the batteries and gets you refocused again for the next couple of weeks.
“Everyone is really, really looking forward to the game and hopefully bringing a big physical presence, that is what it will take over there, so everyone knows what has to be done and I think we will do it, hopefully.”
Butler was delighted to score the match-winning try against the Blues which saw Munster remain fourth in the table through the three-week November international break from PRO12 action.
“Yeah, I was delighted to get the winning try. In fairness it was a team effort. We went over there, knowing it was a hard place to go.
“We dogged out a win, scraped it in the end, but that shows the character in the team that we were able to do that.”
While the 10-placed Dragons have been struggling in the PRO12 this season, the region did score an impressive 51-35 away win over the Ospreys in the LV= Cup at the Brewery Field on Friday last.
“They are very good at the breakdown. They are ear-marking the match against us. For the past couple of weeks they are talking it up in a few papers and stuff. They will be raring to go.”
Friday night’s game is not being televised live.