Munster eye their biggest test against Leinster in Dublin 4 cauldron

Colm Kinsella


Colm Kinsella


Munster eye their biggest test against Leinster in Dublin 4 cauldron

Who is going to play 10?

MUNSTER travel to Dublin this weekend to face high-flying Leinster when Johann van Graan’s side will look to record just their second win in their last eight meetings with their arch rivals.

Saturday’s Round 6 Guinness PRO14 fixture at the Aviva Stadium has a 6pm kick-off, live on eirSport.

With two rounds of crucial Champions Cup action to come in the wake of this weekend’s high octane derby, much interest will centre around the make-up of the two teams.

There is speculation that a number of front line players from both squads will be rested ahead of European action. Line-ups will be confirmed at lunchtime on Friday.

Munster kick-off their Champions Cup pool campaign against Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park on Saturday, October 13 at 3.15pm.

Munster then face another Premiership side, Gloucester, at Thomond Park on Saturday, October 20, 1pm.

Much of the focus this Saturday at the Aviva Stadium will be on Munster’s ex-Leinster out-half Joey Carbery.

The 22-year-old turned in a Man of the Match display in Munster’s 64-7, nine-try demolition of Ulster at Thomond Park last weekend.

Munster head coach van Graan insisted they would not be looking for the inside track on Leinster from Carbery ahead of the game.

Van Graan said: “It is all about respect and I'm certainly not going to ask him for all the names of their moves and the way they do things. I believe this is a new game, a new season and team moves on.

“If our focus was to get information out of Joey then I don't think it's the right way to go about things. It's about us and the way that we want to move forward. I believe if you focus so much on those things you will kind of chase your tail.

“His integrity is so good so it's not even a question that I'm going to pose to him or that we're going to pose to him. Our focus is on us and how we are going to beat them.”

Van Graan says Munster will have to be at their very best physically and mentally to overcome last season’s PRO14 and Champions Cup winners. Leinster have won their last nine games at the Aviva Stadium.

“If you go and play against the European champions and the PRO14 champions in their back yard it's going to be a massive challenge, so regardless of history their form currently is very good.

“They have a fit squad, they're confident, they're playing well in all areas of the game.

“I thought their scrum is going pretty well, their line-out has been pretty decent, they have a brilliant kicking game and then their D will punish you if they attack, if you turn over ball against them, they will punish you so.

“There is no place to hide. You have to go out there and be at your best, both mentally and physically to beat them.”

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