Leinster host Munster this weekend in one of rugby’s biggest rivalries.
Munster captain CJ Stander has been looking ahead to the mammoth fixture, that marks the first time that he will face an Irish province following involvement in the national side. The back row started all five of this season’s RBS 6 Nations championship.
“From teammates to rivals and for me it will be the first time experiencing that so it will be interesting. These are the games that the team lives for, playing Leinster in an interprovincial at the Aviva.
“I remember when I arrived here four years ago, that was the clash that was talked about from the beginning of the season. It’s a great battle and everyone is really excited about it.
“Afterwards it will be nice to chat with some of the Leinster lads because you make friends when you are in Irish camp, but before then both camps have a job to do. They are hoping maintain a home semi-final spot with Scarlets hot on their heels, and for us, we’re trying to secure Champions Cup and play-off qualification. If we slip up this week it makes things a lot harder for us.
“It won’t get any easier after that when we head to Connacht. I watched Connacht and Leinster last weekend and both sides played a great game. It was one of the best and most competitive games I’ve seen all season and it’s great to see our interpros performing on that level. Leinster were still without a couple of players who will be back in the mix this weekend and that fact that they are playing in the Aviva will give them another lift.” [Munster Rugby]
Leinster v Munster, Guinness PRO12 Round 19, Saturday April 2nd at the Aviva Stadium – KO 5.30pm.