Owen Farrell Big changes since April semi-final can give Munster a slight edge

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Owen Farrell Expert view


Owen Farrell JJ Hanrahan’s kicking duties may be stepped up in the coming weeks. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile
JJ Hanrahan’s kicking duties may be stepped up in the coming weeks. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Last weekend’s defeat to Edinburgh was a bit of a downer, but I really think it will have little or no impact on tomorrow’s game. When a challenge like Saracens is there to be tucked into there is no diverting your focus.

You can imagine what the Munster camp has been like this week. It’s no length since they played Sarries last in the Champions Cup semi-final and after that loss the players must have had this imaginary date branded into brains. It’s their first shot at avenging that loss.

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I have to admit I was massively impressed with Mark McCall’s side in that game. I thought they were remarkable. It was as if they were happy to give Munster the ball and wait for them to make a mistake. And once those errors arrived they punished every single one of them.

If we were sitting down to preview Munster playing that side, I would honestly have to say I’d be worried for the province, but so much has happened in both camps in that eight- or nine-month spell that I give Munster a real chance of winning tomorrow and maybe even next week in Allianz Park too.

Struggling

It is impossible to predict what team Saracens will come with this weekend, and if we are struggling to name their team then so too are the Munster coaching staff.

Saracens look to have gone full strength last weekend in their away victory to Bath, with Owen Farrell and Jamie George back for the first time since the World Cup. Mako and Billy Vunipola both started, as did Maro Itoje, while George Kruis and Elliot Daly were named too. If all seven start again tomorrow, I’ll be stunned . . . and maybe a little bit concerned!

I think Munster will take big positives from that Racing game. It really felt like two points won rather than two points lost. I know eve

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