BY CHRISTOPHER BENN
MUNSTER kick off their Champions Cup campaign this Saturday at 5.30pm with an away game to Ospreys.
Munster, having drawn a tough group in this year’s competition, will hope to hit the ground running at the Liberty Stadium.
After winning five out of their six PRO14 games this season the provincial side will want to keep up their run of form and set the tone for their season going forward. In their PRO14 meeting last month Munster came out on top with a 28-12 victory at Irish Independent Park but Ospreys, who only managed to sneak into the Champions Cup with a near miraculous five-game winning streak to finish off their season last year, will be keen to show that they belong at this level.
With a small contingent of West Cork men making up the Champions Cup squad, namely Fineen Wycherley of Bantry and Darren Sweetnam of Dunmanway, Munster will hope to secure the win and carry the momentum forward into the much tougher games on the horizon.
With Racing 92 and Saracens in their group, Munster will have to be at their best to reach the quarter-finals and beyond. Recent history between these teams will make it an interesting group stage battle, as both Saracens and Racing have knocked Munster out of the competition – Saracens twice and Racing once – in the past three years.
This year is shaping up to be an interesting campaign for Munster at the European stage, starting this Saturday.
• CHRISTOPHER BENN is a transition year student at Skibbereen Community School and is on work experience with The Southern Star.