With just four weeks remaining until the beginning of the Guinness PRO14 season, all competing clubs will have their eyes on the opening fixtures as preseason draws to a close.
For Munster, it won’t be until a few weeks into the season that we will see the return of the Irish internationals, a contingent which has been boosted by the additions of Joey Carbery and Tadhg Beirne.
Last week, Conor Murray and Peter O’Mahony spoke about their excitement surrounding Carbery’s move to Munster and equally, they reserved some special praise for Beirne who will add another dimension to Munster’s already impressive pack.
Beirne won his first cap for Ireland during the summer series against the Wallabies and this gave an opportunity for O’Mahony to see first-hand what the talented, versatile forward can bring to the Munster setup.
“He’s been one of the in-form players in European rugby over the last couple of seasons, he’s come from Leinster, got his opportunity with Scarlets and he’s been one of the best,” O’Mahony said.
“He’s an incredible signing for us, his work-rate and his ability to get over the ball is probably second to none in the world. He’s probably the best in the world on the poach.
“His lineout ability, ball-carrying ability, you saw him step Anthony Watson under the posts against Bath last season – he’s obviously a quality footballer and for us to sign somebody of that calibre is a super signing for us.”
Super signing indeed.
That step on Watson in the Champions Cup is just one of many clips from Beirne’s highlight reel and it was something Murray also highlighted about his new provincial teammate.
“Plenty of turnovers, hopefully,” Murray joked when asked what Beirne will bring to Munster.
“He’s really impressed me. A good fella, he did it the hard way, went the long way around and eventually his performances got him an international cap in the summer.
“I’m really excited about that. Like the out-half situation, we have a lot of second rows. There’s gonna be a lot of competition.
“He’s been a stand-out performer in Europe for the last few seasons. Hugely exciting, you see him yourself, he can do everything. One of his tries against Bath he broke through, stepped Anthony Watson and finished it off. He’s got many talents, so looking forward to that.”
Of course one of the big advantages of Munster’s new signing is that he can play in the second row, at blindside flanker and at number eight. O’Mahony was quizzed on where he sees Beirne playing and it’s no surprise that the Munster legend sees Beirne playing at lock.
“Certainly [a second row]. Absolutely!”
Available exclusively from Life Style Sports, Conor Murray, Peter O’Mahony and CStander were pictured at the launch of the 2018/19 Munster Rugby alternate and European jersey, to join the conversation and discover the design inspiration for the jerseys, follow @lifestylesportsrugby and #LIVEMUNSTER. The jerseys and supporter range are available in Life Style Sports stores nationwide and online with next day delivery from www.lifestylesports.com.