Beware of wounded Castres, warns former Munster man Ryan

Munster taking on Casters last season.

Former Munster prop Dave Ryan reckons Johann van Graan’s men could face a backlash from French champions Castres on Sunday.

Ryan, now in his fourth year with Agen, shocked the champions 16-13 in their own backyard at Stade Pierre Fabre on Saturday evening and warns that they will be desperate to bounce back at Thomond Park.

“They badly want to do well in Europe this year and a lot is going to hang on how they will do against Munster in the next two weeks.

“They didn’t expect they would lose to us and now there’s a bit of pressure on them to hit back. Maybe they had one eye on Munster when they were playing us.

Ryan (32), who came through the Munster academy and made 11 appearances in the Tony McGahan era, won a scrum penalty straight after coming on and while he was binned shortly after, he got on top in the scrum again when he came back on as Agen came with a late surge for a deserved win to boost their Top 14 survival hopes.

“It’s a big win for us, coming to the French champions and winning. They are a good side but we did well in the lineout and scrum and our kicking game was particularly good. We managed to find space in behind them and that’s what you need to do against them.

“They are very dangerous when they have the ball but we kept our line well.”

The former Highfield protégé, who has had spells with Lazio, Zebre and Ulster, said that Castres are determined to make an impression in the Champions Cup this season after twice winning the Top 14 in the last four years.

“They are giving Europe a real go this season so I’m sure they will try and have a backlash next weekend.”

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