Pro12 breaks benefited Irish stars

The on-off nature of the Guinness Pro12 regular season run-in may not be ideal for maintaining momentum but Conor Murray believes it has worked well for Munster’s Six Nations title winners.

With the RBS 6 Nations intervening and European Champions Cup knockout stages progressing without the province, Munster have not played on successive weekends since February.

That all changes from tomorrow when Anthony Foley’s squad meet Ulster at Ravenhill in the first of three, possibly four, consecutive weeks of action, should they reach the Pro12 final back in Belfast on May 30.

Murray is grateful for the breaks between games over the last five weeks as he, Munster captain Peter O’Mahony and Ireland captain Paul O’Connell have had more time to reintegrate with their provincial squad mates.

“It’s certainly been different.

“In terms of flow and form it probably doesn’t help you too much, but we’ve had two games in the last three weeks and I think the weeks off have allowed us to train a bit harder together as a group, with us coming back into the squad,” Murray said.

“It might take a little bit of time to readjust to the calls and whatever, so those weeks we weren’t playing in Europe we trained really hard right up until the Friday and stayed on the pitch a bit longer just to get used to things a little bit more.

“So there’s a plus and a negative to not having a game on those weekends but for us returning it’s definitely a benefit,” Murray added.


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