Gatland has warning for Munster players in this weekends Guinness Pro12 final

Gatland warns that Peter O’Mahony, CJ Stander and Conor Murray are at a disadvantage

British and Irish Lions Coach Warren Gatland has warned Munster’s Lions that they’ll be playing catch-up when they link up with the squad next week after the Guinness Pro 12 final before travelling to New Zealand for their first match on June 3rd.

Numbers have jumped for Gatland’s training as they have gone up from 14 to 30 players in this week for their training camp in Carton house in Kildare as Leinster, Ospreys, Saracens and Leicester were all knocked out of their respected competitions.

Leinster’s Sean O’Brien, Jack McGrath, Tadhg Furlong and Johnny Sexton all attended the session on Monday and were all part of a positive injury update.

Munster take on Scarlets in Saturday’s Guinness PRO12 final, meaning Peter O’Mahony, CJ Stander and Conor Murray will not join their Lions team-mates until Sunday just before they fly out to New Zealand that night.

Speaking in Carton house yesterday Gatland said

“We won’t have time next week when the final group of players actually come in to go over some stuff. This week is a little bit of repetition,”.

“We had 14 players last week, so the fact we’ve almost doubled the size of the squad this week, there is a bit of repetition of some of the stuff that we’d covered last week.

“And I think that’s important, it’s good for the guys that worked on certain things last weekend, but when they come in next Sunday we won’t be able to again go over the same sort of things that we’ve spent a couple of weeks doing with the squad.

“It’s going to put those players coming in next weekend at a slight disadvantage because they’re going to have to pretty much school themselves or work with the coaches one-on-one and look at the training videos to get up to speed as quick as they can.”

With Billy Vunipola having to withdraw from the tour because of an ongoing injury problem Gatland will be looking closely at who had has when it comes to picking a Number 8 for the test matches next month and that could be Munsters CJ Stander has he has a experience with playing there for Munster and also Ireland on occasion.

When asked about Stander, Gatland responded “He gives us both options,” “He likes playing No 8 and we know he can play No 6 as well. So we’ll probably look at him at that position [eight] to start the tour and knowing we’ve got the flexibility to play him at No 6 as well.

“With a few other players we can move that back row around and look at combinations.

“It’s a nice position to be in because we’ve got that flexibility so people aren’t just pigeon-holed into being a Nos 6, 7 or 8. They can cover different roles for us.”

As spectators we would love to see Stander stand out during the tour, and as Munster fans we know what he is capable of.

Social Sharing

Posted in

New Munster deal announced for Peter O’Mahony

He won Munster’s Player of the Year award in 2019 and so far this season, has made five ...
Read More

Neil Cronin, Colm Hogan and Andrew O’Mahony depart Munster

The province thanked the trio for their contributions to Munster Rugby and wished them all the best for ...
Read More

Munster fall to Northampton Champions Cup defeat | HIGHLIGHTS

Munster tried gamely to get back in contention but Northampton sealed the win when Hendy scored his second ...
Read More

“This competition is huge for every team” | Gavin Coombes speaks ahead of Northampton showdown

A Cork native, Coombes joined Munster in 2018 and has gone on to make 91 appearances for the ...
Read More

Munster side named for Northampton clash | TEAM NEWS

The half-back and centre partnerships are unchanged as Craig Casey, Jack Crowley, Alex Nankivell and Antoine Frisch keep ...
Read More

Munster announce contract extensions with Ryan set for three game ban

The disciplinary process related to John Ryan’s citing in the game against Cardiff Rugby on Saturday, March 30 ...
Read More

Calvin Nash and RG Snyman being monitored | Munster Squad Update

Academy back-row forward Brian Gleeson underwent ankle surgery last month and is continuing to rehab. The Munster squad ...
Read More

Munster get past Cardiff in Thomond Park | HIGHLIGHTS

Crowley struck 16 minutes from time when he jinked through several tackles to score his first Munster try, ...
Read More