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Youth and Experience Gives Foley The Ideal Mix

5th November 2009 By Munster Rugby

Youth and Experience Gives Foley The Ideal Mix

Just a week ahead of the start of the inaugural British & Irish Cup and Munster A coach Anthony Foley has his final preparation against Ulster A in Musgrave Park looking for a third successive win this season following victories over Leinster last time out and Ulster back in September.

Foley is assisted by Ian Costello and they saw their side come from behind in Clonmel Rugby Club to see off Leinster 21-15 but in Shawsbridge, 17 second half points saw them emerge 28-11 victors although the man who played 201 competitive games for Munster is expecting a much tougher test this time around.

“I was happy enough with our display that day in Belfast.” Foley said. ” It was our first outing and we handled playing against a strong wind well in the first half. But we’re also aware that it wasn’t the strongest side Ulster could have put out. Injuries to their senior panel meant a call up for lads who would have expected to play against us. So we’d be expecting a much stronger challenge this time.”

And while the side for Friday shows five changes from the Leinster game, he doesn’t believe it will affect performance. “These lads know each other well from training and while there’s no substitute for game time we’d be hopeful they’ll settle early on against Ulster.”

“These games are ideal preparation for the British & Cup.” continued Foley. “In fact playing the likes of Ulster, and Leinster before that, with the sort of rivalry that exits between us all, couldn’t be better preparation.”

There is a certain unknown quantity about the inaugural competition but Foley welcomes its introduction as a vital part in preparing players for the next level. “I think it’s a great idea. It gives us the chance to expose lads to a level they haven’t experienced before and hopefully help them along the way to a place in the senior squad.”

“Obviously we haven’t a lot to work on in terms of our opposition but we had a sorta sneak preview with the Bristol Coventry game that was on TV last week. It certainly heightened the excitement levels and we’re definitely looking forward to it.”

“But foremost in our heads is this game on Friday. We’ll deal with that first and then concentrate on the British & Irish Cup.”





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