8 Dec, 15:36
Munster produced their best performance of the season to secure a bonus-point 36-8 win over Perpignan at Thomond Park on Sunday.
But no matter how the fixtures fell, McGahan ever the pragmatist, will spend the next few weeks, as already planned, putting the pieces in place to deal with the challenges ahead.
" Look", he said today, "I think first of all, regardless of how the fixtures were to fall, this was always a very competitive group. All sides have a good pedigree in the competition."
"There will be no easy games in this Pool and that's reflected in the opening two rounds of our pool. Northampton Saints participation in the Heineken Cup final last May and a semi final appearance in the Aviva Premiership reflects their climb to be considered one of the top sides in Europe."
"To have them first up certainly brings to attention the urgency of having your game in order very early."
"Castres Olympique are well known to Munster supporters and we all recognise the fortress that a home game represents for a side at the top end of Top 14 for the last three years."
"We obviously have regular first hand knowledge of Scarlets playing them as we do in the League each season and in the Heineken Cup back in 2008. Their youth policy has provided them with a fresh platform to get back to Finals qualification which all us in the pool are striving for."
McGahan, who was speaking in the Waterford Regional Sports Centre ahead of his squad open session today concluded. "A lot of factors will determine how we progress, the form we carry into the competition without our internationals, how our internationals get through the RWC."
"But y'know, this far out, four months away, it's a little difficult to say much else other than we know it's going to be a difficult group, one that like each year will go right down to the last round of games to see who comes through."