"It's good for players to build up to that level of intensity" - Leo Cullen says Munster clash prepares players for Europe

The Irish provinces face off this Saturday at the Aviva Stadium before the start of the Champions Cup campaign

BY Cian Roche 12:13 Wednesday 5 October 2016, 12:13 5 Oct 2016

Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie 

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen says his side will not be holding back this weekend against Munster, despite the beginning of their European campaign looming just ahead. 

Leinster kick off their Champions Cup campaign next weekend against Castres, but Cullen insists that he will not be resting any players for their inter-provincial in the Aviva Satdium on Saturday afternoon. 

Cullen's side struggled in Europe last year and finished bottom of their pool after taking just six points from six games, winning once along the way.

"It was a very tough campaign in Europe," he told Off The Ball's Dave McIntyre. "We didn't have that Munster game last year, where we had that level of intensity prior to Europe I think that is a big advantage for Leinster and Munster because you're already up at that level of intensity the week before you head into Europe. 

"It's nice to be back in this situation where we are getting ready for what is always a huge game.

"Even though it's still four points for a win and bonus points apply like every other Pro12 fixture of the 22 Pro12 fixtures that we have, I think in the players' mind considering that they know each other so well, there's always more on the line."

The support will play a major part in the outcome of the game and the Leinster head coach said that it adds to the atmosphere and the importance of the tie.

"In terms of what the supporters give to the sense of occasion, there's always a feeling of more at stake. Particularly playing in the Aviva [Stadium], there's always a sense of occasion in there.

"Sometimes we've performed well in this picture against Munster and not performed well the following week in Europe. Maybe there has been comments in the past that we've invested too much into the week before. We all know the importance of those six games. 

"If you don't do well, particularly in your home games, it leaves yourself chasing the pool and making life really difficult for yourself. You could argue both ways but I think it's good to have players build up to that level of intensity."


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