Munster’s Rory Scannell excited to face Cheetahs challenge

Munster centre Rory Scannell admits pre-season has been “tough” ahead his side’s PRO14 opener against South African side Cheetahs tomorrow.

Munster’s Rory Scannell excited to face Cheetahs challenge

By James O’Connor

Munster centre Rory Scannell admits pre-season has been “tough” ahead his side’s PRO14 opener against South African side Cheetahs tomorrow.

Scannell joined provincial team-mates Darren Sweetnam and Jack O’Donoghue as they showed their support at the Lucozade Sport Touch Fit launch at Musgrave Park last night.

Pre-season has been tough, a lot of running as usual, but we’re coming to the end now with games next week so it’s exciting to get into the season,” said Scannell.

“I’m excited for this weekend, first outing in Thomond Park this season. There’s a good buzz around the place and we’re all looking forward to getting stuck into it.”

The Touch Fit programme, which takes place every Tuesday and Thursday night at 6.30pm in Musgrave Park, is an opportunity to team up with like-minded people to achieve personal fitness goals as 2018 comes to a close.

Scannell said: “This is a really good thing to get involved in, great way of keeping fit during winter when you’d probably prefer to be sitting on the couch having a cup of tea. It’s great to get groups of all different ages out as well and having a bit of fun.”

Speaking on the initiative, Irish fitness and motivational coach Pat Divilly added: “From my experience we’ve always had more success with bringing people together rather than them doing it alone.

“It’s the accountability that makes it good. It’s nice for an adult to just sign over your life for an hour, the trainers the boss and you don’t have to think about anything, that’s why it’s unique.”

Meanwhile star signing Charles Piutau will miss Bristol’s record-breaking Gallagher Premiership opener against Bath today.

The English west country club’s major box office recruit — a reputed £1million arrival from Ulster — is due to see a specialist this weekend.

Piutau suffered a shoulder injury during Bristol’s pre-season friendly appointment with Connacht last week, and the full extent of the damage is yet to be revealed.

The New Zealander’s absence is a major blow for Bristol on their return to top-flight English rugby, and to the vast majority of a club record 24,000-plus home crowd that will pack Ashton Gate.

He would undoubtedly have featured in a Bristol side that shows several debutants, including former Australia Test flanker George Smith and ex-Gloucester prop John Afoa, as last season’s Championship winners face their fierce west country rivals.

We can’t wait to get going,” Bristol coach Pat Lam said.

“They (Bath) are a new squad with new coaches. They’ve brought Girvan Dempsey in (as attack coach) from Leinster, who I know from my time at Connacht.

“You are aware of what they do and the threat that they pose, but the whole focus is making sure that you get your own things right.”

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