Planet Rugby

Munster are underdogs - O'Connell

08th April 2013 09:32

Share:

SKY_MOBILE Paul O Connell

Paul O'Connell: Expects a tough battle against Clermont

Munster lock Paul O'Connell believes his side are firm underdogs to beat Clermont in their Heineken Cup semi-final in Montpellier later this month.

O'Connell skippered the 2006 and 2008 champions to a memorable 18-12 victory over Harlequins at the Stoop on Sunday but knows that they will have to be at their best if they want to reach the final.

"It's going to be very tough going forward and I'm sure Clermont will be delighted they got us and not Harlequins," O'Connell told the ERC website.

"It's going to be very tough for us to beat Clermont. They have power across the park and just look at their bench - any team in Europe would like to have their bench in their 1st XV.

"These young guys at Munster can give anyone a game, but it is going to be very tough."

The former Ireland and British and Irish Lions captain has been sidelined with knee and back injuries for most of the season - playing only seven matches in 11 months - but he was back to his best against Harlequins and won the official man-of-the-match award.

That performance has led to calls for him to be selected for the Lions squad for their upcoming series against the Wallabies.

"I feel very much back in the mix after a game like that," said O'Connell. "There was a lot of doubt after last week - we felt we threw a bit of a dummy against Glasgow, which wasn't our intention, and we were a bit down in the week."

"To be back involved with it is great. I've a little bit to go with my match fitness, but I'm delighted to be back playing and to have come through another match injury free."

  • Champions Cup Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Preview
Castres vs LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Preview
Wasps vs HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Preview
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92 Preview
Saturday , December 6
Sale vs Saracens13:00
Munster vs Clermont Auvergne15:15
Harlequins vs LeinsterTBC
Leicester vs ToulonTBC
Ulster vs ScarletsTBC
Montpellier vs BathTBC
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
  • Champions Cup Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Bath 19 - 21 ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Report
Montpellier 13 - 15 GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Report
Ulster 13 - 23 ToulonUlster vs Toulon Report
Northampton 34 - 6 OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 15 - 3 LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Report
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
Sunday , October 19
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
  • Champions Cup Table
Pool 1
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Munster28
2Saracens25
3Sale Sharks11
4Clermont Auvergne11
Pool 2
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Leinster14
2Harlequins14
3Wasps11
4Castres10
Pool 3
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Toulon28
2Scarlets24
3Leicester Tigers24
4Ulster21
Pool 4
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Glasgow Warriors29
2Toulouse28
3Montpellier22
4Bath21
Pool 5
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton25
2Ospreys25
3Racing Metro Paris14
4Treviso10