Scannell: "Munster's performance in Paris must be tribute to the occasion"

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent


Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent


Scannell: "Munster's performance in Paris must be tribute to the occasion"

MUNSTER hooker Niall Scannell is hoping the side can paying a fitting tribute to the late Anthony Foley with the quality of their display against Racing 92 in Paris on Saturday.

Second-placed Munster face French champions Racing 92 in a crucial rearranged Champions Cup Pool 1 fixture at the Stade Yves Du Manoir, 3.45pm Irish time.

The original fixture was postponed following the sudden death of Munster head coach Anthony Foley in the French capital in October.

Scannell said : “I suppose everyone deals with these things kind of differently. For me anyway, it is still the smaller things.

”Like, even sometimes in a game, we you make a mistake or you do something well, you would be thinking, Jeez he (Axel) is going to hammer me for that now. Those are the things which are not going to go away quickly. “Everyone will deal with that differently.

”Those are the kind of things which make you think of him alright. We will try and not make it too much of an emotional trip, going over there, but I’m sure it will be strange.

“I think it was Felix Jones who said it to me getting on the plane in Paris to come home that this will probably always be the thing you think of when you come to Paris, forever more” and that is probably true.

“So it is just about focusing on the rugby side of things now and performing at the weekend. That is the most important thing now. We need to make the performance a tribute to the occasion as opposed to letting it bog us down.”

Scannell believes he is benefitting from getting an extended run of starts in the team.

"I am playing a lot and getting a lot more experience. It is all a bit new playing every week. I am trying to bring the more physical aspects to it, especially around the set-piece.

”I am trying to be consistent and perform there, around scrum and line-out. At the end of the day they are just my fundamentals.”