Erasmus excited by Ireland results

Date published: November 29 2016

Ireland's success in the November internationals could inspire their four PRO12 provinces through a congested fixture list, says Munster boss Rassie Erasmus.

Joe Schmidt's side achieved wins over all three Southern Hemisphere giants this year, beating South Africa in June before recording memorable victories over New Zealand and Australia this month.

Erasmus thinks that a thriving international game can only add to the aspirations of the four home provinces. For all of the Irish teams it will be a busy few weeks ahead either side of Christmas, but Munster surely must have the most daunting of schedules ahead of them starting this Friday against Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun.

That game will be followed by their back-to-back Champions Cup clash with Leicester, which is then trailed by interpros against Connacht and Leinster, while a tough three Champions Cup games in three weeks against Racing 92 (twice) and Warriors ends a tough eight weeks.

Erasmus believes Ireland's results can inspire them through this period.

"For all of us it’s great, for Leinster, Munster, Ulster, Connacht, for everybody. If it’s good for us it must be great for Leinster because they have about 15 or 17 guys in the 22 or even more," he told the Irish Times.

"It’s good for Irish rugby, for world rugby that Australia and New Zealand have been beaten by Ireland. It’s good for the Northern Hemisphere. Overall leading up to the 2019 World Cup those things will filter out to our level and club level.

"We have players like Jack O’Donoghue who played against Canada. He has learned a few things, he has talked to Conor Oliver about that. He talks to John Foley about that and it starts spreading and rubbing off and dreams become reality. It is a feel good factor and the same for the other three Irish provinces. It’s great."

Erasmus will be meeting up with Schmidt this week and IRFU performance director David Nucifora before picking his team for Friday's clash with Glasgow Warriors.

Simon Zebo, Keith Earls, Conor Murray, Donnacha Ryan, Peter O’Mahony, and CJ Stander are among those who return from international duty and a fair percentage will be kept back for the Champions Cup clash with Leicester Tigers on December 10.

"We’ll mix and match to make sure we adhere to the player management plan," said Erasmus. 

"It’s important for us to manage the players, so that they are not only fit for us, but also for Ireland. Our confidence is high. You see commitment in defence and confidence in attack. When guys are beginning to attack at a training session, trying to do things within their skill set when the opportunity is there, confidence is shining through. The most important thing is to make sure that confidence doesn’t turn into arrogance."