Munster flanker Peter O'Mahony
MUNSTER flanker Peter O’Mahony says Saturday’s big Guinness PRO14 interprovincial derby with Leinster in Dublin is the ideal preparation for the opening rounds of the Champions Cup.
Conference A second-placed Munster travel to the Aviva Stadium to face arch rivals Leinster in a crucial league fixture this Saturday, 2pm.
The game will be both sides final work-out before the commencement of the Champions Cup with Munster travelling to France to face Castres Olympique on Sunday week, October 15.
Lions star O’Mahony, who made his first appearance of the season for Munster in Saturday’s PRO14 bonus point win over Cardiff Blues at Thomond Park said: "It's a step up, every provincial game is a step up in intensity, there is certainly a difference between Europe and the Pro14, to bridge that, this is the perfect preparation, the intensity Munster v Leinster has, the quality there, the rivalries, playing against friends, it's a great one to ramp into Europe."
O’Mahony insisted that the intense media and public speculation over who will succeed Rassie Erasmus as Munster’s Director of Rugby is not impacting on the players.
O’Mahony said: “As Rassie said, if you came into a meeting this time last year and then came into a meeting this morning, you wouldn't know from a background point of view or a players' point of view that there's anything happening.
“It's a professional sport, these things are going to happen and a lot of the players who are there now, they've been through this before so all we can do is put our heads down and train hard and listen to the feedback.
“Change happens and the new guy's going to come in and do his thing, we're all going to row in behind that, so there really isn't a difference from last year.
“You can see the way we played (last season), the impact that Rassie and Jacques had last year, I'd always say you saw the buy-in of players. The guys had a plan and you knew they weren't going to bullshit you.
”I speak for all of the player group when I say we've enjoyed it up to now and we'll enjoy the next few months as well.”