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28th Jul 2016

Conor Murray reveals the changes Rassie Erasmus has made to Munster’s approach


‘It’s like a new club.’

It’s a fascinating season ahead for Irish rugby. Two Test matches against the All Blacks in the autumn will give us an indication of whether Joe Schmidt’s side are in a position to wrestle back the Six Nations crown from Eddie Jones and England.

But that’s almost eclipsed by the seismic season that awaits the Irish provinces.

Can Connacht repeat their fairytale campaign?

Can Leinster blend Robbie Henshaw with the undoubted young talent already in their ranks?

Will Charles Piutau take Ulster to the next level?

And what of Munster? Will the arrival of Rassie Erasmus as Director of Rugby have the desired effect of rejuvenating the fortunes of the province?

Munster certainly need it. They’ve failed to make it out of the pool stage of the Champions Cup for the past two seasons and in a pool with Racing Metro, Leicester and Glasgow Warriors

Anthony ‘Axel’ Foley is still in place in head coach, while Jerry Flannery remains in the coaching set-up. They’ve been joined by Felix Jones, whose career was so cruelly curtailed by injury last season.

Eramus is overseeing this coaching set-up and it seems the blend of new and old is having an effect already.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 29: Rassie Erasmus has a drink during a South Africa IRB Rugby World Cup 2011 captains run at North Harbour Stadium on September 29, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Speaking at the launch of Munster’s new alternative jersey Conor Murray spoke of the impact the 43-year-old has had in is short time at Thomond.

Murray has not yet resumed training after being part of Ireland’s summer tour to South Africa, but will do so this week, though it seems he doesn’t need to see first-hand the effect Erasmus has had – word has got out.

“We’ve got a massive year this year,” Murray told “We’ve got a massive November, a massive year for the province. It’s got a new look to it and speaking to the lads while I’ve been away, they’re really enthusiastic about it.

“Rassie and Jacques have instilled a new look and a new freshness. With Felix (Jones) there, Axel (Foley) there, and Fla (Jerry Flannery), lads that you know really well, there’s still a good bit of experience there and the lads are just loving training at the moment. It’s just a breath of fresh air.”

REPRO FREE***PRESS RELEASE NO REPRODUCTION FEE*** Launch Of The New Munster Rugby Alternate Jersey, Life Style Sports Store, Mahon Point, Cork 27/7/2016 Pictured at the launch of the new Munster Rugby Alternate jersey at Life Style Sports, Mahon Point is adidas ambassador Conor Murray. The new Jersey is available only at Life Style Sports, along with all Munster Rugby training kit and supporter's wear. See and/or #MunsterRising for further details. Pictured today Conor Murray Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

“The new training centre on top of that as well, it just feels like you’re going back to almost a new club. It’s probably well timed after what happened last year.

“It’s a new philosophy, a new voice.“[Simon Zebo] said there’s a lot of emphasis on physicality and dominating your opposition, which is very South African. The way we’ve been trying to play in the breakdown, we’ve been using it for the last year and it’s still there.

“New voices, new players coming back, a lot of combinations make it that fresh. I’m looking forward to getting back; I genuinely can’t wait.”

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