Wipe the slate clean and move on to the next job. That is the way Johann van Graan, like many head coaches, operates but as his Munster side transitions into this European knockout rugby week, his mantra of forgetting the past and resetting to zero on a Monday has never seemed so apt.
Michael Bradley, the former Ireland scrum-half and now head coach of Italian side Zebre, was last night casting an envious eye at the strength of the squad announced by his Munster counterpart Johann van Graan ahead of tonight’s Guinness PRO14 tie at Thomond Park.
Duncan Williams will make his 150th appearance for Munster in Saturday’s Guinness PRO14 clash with Zebre at Thomond Park. It’s a game that provides the 32-year-old Corkman with another opportunity to show how he remains a highly valuable member of the squad.
John Muldoon looks set to remain involved in rugby and having built up considerable coaching experience during his playing career, Connacht supporters will be hoping that the province’s finest player will return in due course when he hangs up his boots in May.
Michael Bradley knows all about building from the bottom in professional rugby — his seven years at the Sportsground took Connacht through the most difficult period in their history — and he is happy with the progress he is making in his first few months with Zebre.
What a wonderful story. What a wonderful, uplifting, happy-ending romance. What an against-the-odds achievement. What a challenging, inspiring act of individual and collective defiance — and how very easy and uplifting it is to celebrate. But it offers so much more.
The Connacht team bus will leave the Sportsground shortly after noon today for The Strand Hotel in Limerick where the players and management will have a light meal, run through their plans for the match and then head for Thomond Park.