DFP Header Area

Lancaster: Leinster must be wary of improved Munster

Guinness PRO12 Rugby Editor

4 Oct 2016

Guinness PRO12’s first-ever Big Weekend will be staged in Round 6 and Leinster senior coach Stuart Lancaster admits his side have plenty of work to do ahead of their blockbuster clash with Munster at the Aviva Stadium.

Some of the Guinness PRO12’s biggest rivalries will be played out across all four countries this weekend and Ireland’s capital is no exception.

Leinster and Munster have won four out of their first five games but both sides, sitting in second and third, would be able to open up a gap over the other with victory in Dublin.

The clash will also pit two of the Guinness PRO12’s newest coaching minds, Lancaster and Munster director of rugby Rassie Erasmus, against each other for the first time.

And former England head coach Lancaster believes that getting to grips with two players in particular –  Ireland scrum-half Conor Murray and No.8 CJ Stander – will be vital to Leinster’s chances.

“They have some hugely influential players and a very effective kicking game,” Lancaster told the Irish Times. “Their defensive system has improved from last season. I can see that already from just the few games I’ve watched.

“They have a physical, abrasive pack who like to take teams on around the fringes.

“Conor Murray is clearly key in terms of the accuracy of his kicking game. CJ Stander is pretty influential as well obviously. But we are going to be tested all over the park.

“The key for me is we need to make sure we get ourselves ready. That is why I have focused over the past fortnight on getting our detail right.

“That is what the majority of my time has been spent on. Because I know that if our team get their details right, with the quality of players that we have, we’ll be tough to beat.”