This may be a pool of death Munster are facing into as the 25th Heineken Champions Cup campaign gets underway this weekend but the fixture schedule has at least handed Johann van Graan’s side the most palatable of introductions, albeit away, with a trip to off-form Ospreys.
The pressure may be on for Ireland’s World Cup hopefuls to press their claims for a seat on the plane to Japan next month but Andy Farrell has insisted the national team management will not ease the agony for their players until the very last minute.
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.
Munster boss Johann van Graan was on Monday counting the cost of two highly physical Heineken Champions Cup games as he assessed his reduced selection options for this Saturday’s Guinness PRO14 visit of Glasgow Warriors to Thomond Park.
Johann van Graan’s bid to get his first full European campaign off to a winning start could not have come in more difficult circumstances, yet the Munster head coach has learned enough in his short time in charge to expect the unexpected on Heineken Champions Cup away days.
The enormity of the challenge facing Leinster and Munster in their respective Champions Cup quarter-finals this weekend is capably captured by the fact their opponents, Saracens and Toulon, have won the last five Heineken/Champions Cups between them, writes