Bleyendaal ready for Munster’s next step this weekend.
Tyler Bleyendaal has been outstanding for Munster this season and it was no surprise when he was announced as Munster Player of the Season a few weeks ago.
In 2014 when Bleyendaal first came to the club he was carrying numerous quad and neck injuries and now three years later he is at the top of his game and is ready guide Munster’s challenge for silverware against the Scarlets at the Aviva on Saturday.
Speaking ahead of this weekends final Bleyendaal said
“To be playing regularly on a weekly basis is just massively exciting and it helps everything. It helps enjoying life in general,”.
“Being able to contribute on the field was a massive thing, when injured and not playing and you’re only training, it can get frustrating.
“Look, I’m so happy to be playing and to have had as many opportunities as I’ve had.
“Every time I get to run out wearing the Munster red it’s very special, this weekend wearing the blue jersey I think it will be an awesome experience.
“And you never know when you get another chance at play-off rugby, and especially a final — it’s a combination of so much hard work over a pretty long season and I’m just so excited to be involved.”
The 26 year old knows that it has been a season of mixed emotions for Munster.
“From the beginning of the pre-season when Axel was here, the coaching group were very much aligned and we were building towards what we have now. So when that tragedy occurred and Axel passed we were already together, already a tight group.”
“The way Rassie led us and took all the heat off us with the media, the way he handled things, it allowed us to go about our business.
“We didn’t know how we were going to react. I don’t think anyone knows how you’re going to respond to a tragedy like that, but as we got through the first game and all the emotion we had a good eight or nine match stretch where we just gave it everything.
“And I think, again, that’s just reaffirmed what we’re built on; that hard work and the no-nonsense stuff. I think that helped us get through that period, which I hope no one ever has to go through.
The last time Munster were in a Pro12 final was against Glasgow Warriors two years ago, Munster lost out on the day. Bleyendaal may have not taken part in the game that day but if one thing he is sure of is this weekend that will not be the case.
If one thing is sure is that he won’t let his injuries and niggles define him as a player.
“The neck injury originally, that’s out of the blue, you can’t help that. And then the quad injury itself, I don’t think it gives you a label of an injury history or becoming nervous all that stuff. You go out and throw your body into every battle every weekend and hope you come out the right side of that.”
Guinness Pro12 Final
Munster V Scarlets
Saturday May 27th @6.15pm
Aviva Stadium, Dublin