Munster ready for Euro challenge

Date published: June 17 2015

Munster will be ready for Stade Français and Leicester after being drawn together in the Champions Cup pool stages next season.

The two-time European champions were drawn in Pool 4, alongside French champions Stade, Premiership semi-finalists Leicester and Italian representatives Treviso.

While Munster, Stade and Leicester all have a lot of pedigree in Europe, having reached a total of 11 finals between them, the Irish side have not faced either team in more than eight years.

However coach Anthony Foley is confident his team will be able to improve on last season where they went out in the group stages in a pool featuring Clermont and Saracens.

"Once again six huge games lie ahead of us. Getting through the pool stages is always a massive challenge and it's up to us to put in the performances that I know we are capable of," said Foley.

"There's quality right across our pool again next season. We now have to prepare for the reigning Top 14 champions. Clermont taught us a lesson on just how formidable the Top 14 sides are in Europe both home and away last season and again we'll have our work cut out for us with Stade Français. It's a long time coming, I think it's over ten years since we have met in Europe and they will be two massive games.

"Leicester Tigers are a team that we know well from the old Heineken Cup, we've shared some big occasions together although it has been a number of years since we've gone to battle in competition.

"They'll travel to Thomond Park knowing that the last time they played there they became the first visiting side to beat us at Thomond in European competition. It's up to us to rise to the occasion both home and away.

"Treviso are the side we're most familiar with of late. Both sides know each other well and will prepare accordingly and it will be another physical and bruising encounter.

"It's been a number of years since we have faced-off in Europe. Since then we've seen first-hand in the PRO12 how they've improved, running Leinster and Ulster very close and putting three tries on us in Cork last season. We can't afford to do the same against them in Europe."