Munster captain Peter O'Mahony pictured at the team's captain's run at the Stade Chaban Delmas
MUNSTER captain Peter O'Mahony insists the side's focus is on their Champions Cup semi-final showdown with Racing 92 and not on the prospect of an all-Irish final in Bilbao next month.
Two-time winners Munster face French Top 14 giants Racing 92 at the Stade Chaban Delmas this Sunday, 3.15pm Irish time.
The prize on offer for Munster - who are appearing in a record 13th Champions Cup semi-final - is a date with arch rivals Leinster in the showpiece decider at Bilbao's San Mamés stadium on May 12.
With temperatures set to reach 28 degrees by kick-off time in Bordeaux, competition organisers are contemplating allowing water breaks to take place during the contest.
Asked about the prospect of squaring up to Leo Cullen's Leinster side in the final, O'Mahony said: "That's certainly something that I'm not in a position to be commenting on or thinking about even.
"We've a big game against one of the best teams in Europe and that's what our minds are firmly focused on."
Skipper O'Mahony agreed that the hot conditions would make it difficult for the players.
"I struggle in the heat personally. We’re not really acclimatised to it so it’s certainly a factor. It’s 27, 28 degrees. We’re lucky that we’ve come off the back of two South African games that we played in dry conditions with temperature and humidity quite high and the altitude as well.
“But it’s a different type of heat out there. It’s going to be a factor but it’s there for both teams. I don’t think either side has been playing in these kinds of temperatures for the last few months so it’s going to be difficult for both sides.”
O'Mahony said Munster would take confidence from how the squad had trained and played in recent months.
“I think the main thing that’s giving us confidence is the way we’ve trained and performed over the last six, eight weeks and longer. There’s been a lot of hard work gone in, our training standard has been really high and for me that’s where I get my confidence, seeing the guys training well.
“Games like Toulon are incredibly difficult games and hard games to win. Knockout rugby in Europe is some of the hardest games you’ll ever play in and to come out the right side of a team like Toulon gives you confidence but it’s a different challenge tomorrow (v Racing 92). They’re a different team, a different animal.
“It’s the semi-final of a European competition, only four teams left in the competition, it makes it a little bit more difficult always. As you know from my record anyway, semi-finals are definitely hard to win.”
The Limerick Leader's coverage of Munster v Racing 92 in the Champions Cup semi-final is brought to you in association with CompuB