Tommy O'Donnell: Leicester don't seem to fear Thomond Park

The Munster flanker looks ahead to his side's Champion Cup clash this weekend

Tommy O'Donnell

Image: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne 

Munster flanker Tommy O'Donnell says Leicester will not be intimidated travelling to Thomond Park this weekend for their Champions Cup clash.

Leicester were the first team to come to Thomond Park and beat the men in red following the dawn of the professional era, but O'Donnell admits those records are always set as targets to be broken.

"I remember it well, I remember watching it on TV at the time and being nearly heartbroken," he said. "But I suppose those sort of records have to be broken at some stage. It's a pity that it ended, but now it's about us being on the right side of the result this weekend.

"They don't seem to have the fear of Thomond Park. They're one of the only teams who have won twice in European Rugby here. They'll come here full of confidence and think that they can do a job. 

"We'll have to take them physically and hope the crowd gets behind us as well."

Simon Zebo and Dave Kilcoyne dejected after defeat to Leicester in the Champions Cup in December 2015. Image: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Munster, for their part, boast a run of seven consecutive wins and will fancy their chances against the English Premiership side. Along with the return of some key players, O'Donnell reckons Munster have what it takes to maintain their winning run.

"You can't just rely on those seven wins to carry you over the next period, you need to refocus and go again. We're also ready to welcome back some of the internationals into the fold so now it's about pushing on over the Christmas period. 

"It's always a step up and something that we tend to go for. At this stage as well, you'll have plenty of lads who will have played international test rugby so they'll be up to standard. Their bodies are used to that level of intensity and Leicester have plenty of players of the that calibre.

"We need to raise our game and take that intensity to them."

The Irish province were made to work hard during their last run out, a last gasp win against Glasgow coming courtesy of a 77th minute Ian Keatley drop-goal.

"We let it slip for a little bit in the second half, but we showed great resilience and had great confidence to get back up the field to get the score. It's probably not great that we got ourselves in the position, earlier in the game we probably thought we should have come away with more of a margin.

"It's a tough place to go and win, to adapt to the conditions and to adjust with that new AstroTurf pitch. It's a great place to go to get the points.

"There's a a lot of positivity around the squad. They're not always the best performances but we're getting results and this week all the work will be in to getting the performance.

"It's going to be a physical match, it's going to be attritional and now it's all about focusing on the task ahead, there's no pointing focusing on the past."

He added: "Leicester are a good side, they've got a good back row, they're well able to carry ball and they're very very good at the breakdown."