DEPARTING Munster team manager, Shaun Payne believes up to four hours of training time has been compromised each week by the province’s use of two training bases in Limerick and Cork.
Payne says Munster would enjoy a ‘massive benefit’ from being able to train collectively at one centre throughout the entire week, rather than on a couple of days each week which is the case at present.
Payne, whose tenure as Munster manager ends in July, believes the base is very likely to be in either Limerick or Cork and not at a ‘half way’ house location.
Payne is well-placed to comment on the two-base training strategy as the double Heineken Cup medal winner spent six years playing with Munster when he amassed 109 appearances as well as spending four years as the province’s team manager.
Payne said: “From a playing point of view, you are travelling too much and you can’t train enough. Not only that but you are not close enough to your peers the whole time that you are playing with.
“From a management point of view it is a complete logistical nightmare. There is no other way of putting it.
“With training, two bases impact on how much time you can put in on a training pitch and how much time you can spend together as a group, in your units, as a backline group, as half-backs, doing scrummaging training and doing your line-outs. There would be a massive benefit with being able to be based in one centre, purely from a rugby point of view. There is no doubt about that.
“There is hardly a man who would say nowadays that we shouldn’t do it, that it is not a necessity to do it.
“It has to be done. The game has become more and more technical and complicated. Gone are the days when you come to training, do three scrums, do a couple of line-outs and a couple of practice runs up and down the pitch. Those days are long gone. There is so much analysis, video work over the past few years.
“I think we have been compromised at least three to four hours of possible work a week by being in the two different centres. My view at the end of the day it that one centre has to happen.
“Now the big question is where do you put it? There is a lot of work that has gone into this over the past 18 months. I know a decision will be made pretty soon about it.
“This is not going to happen in the next six months. It will take a while to build and put together. You would probably have a two-year lead in period,
“The option of having a training base half way between Limerick and Cork was looked at, but it is not a proper possibility if you look at the costing of the project and what is out there. It looks like one of the centres would have to be the option.”