Belfast Telegraph

Munster will stay cool as the heat rises, maintains boss Van Graan

 

By Jon Fallon

Munster got together in Athlone yesterday for their first session since Andrew Conway's wonder try snatched a dramatic victory over Toulon on Saturday.

But it wasn't at the home of Buccaneers RFC where Johann van Graan put the squad through their paces, but rather the Cape Town suburb of Athlone on a sweltering morning.

The players were grateful for a light breeze yesterday morning as the temperature hit 23C for their session, but Van Graan said that getting used to these conditions will also prepare the squad for the heat in Bordeaux on Sunday fortnight against Racing 92 in the Champions Cup semi-final.

"Heat will be a factor for the next couple of weeks," he said. "Weather-wise, it is totally different than in Ireland but also in terms of our preparation, good planning for the game in France."

First up is a clash with the Southern Kings in George - CJ Stander's hometown - on Saturday and then Munster face the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein in a key Conference A clash which could go a long way towards deciding the PRO14's home quarter-finalists.

Van Graan, back home in his native South Africa for the first time since taking charge of Munster before Christmas, said they enjoyed the win over Toulon but it was done and dusted and all that mattered now is what lies ahead.

"We start at zero every week," he said. "We enjoyed the win over Toulon, a massive win for the team and the club. But it's in the past now, it's back to the PRO14."

Belfast Telegraph

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