Munster Women’s head coach Laura Guest is looking forward to being part of history on Friday as her side will become the first team to take on the newly-formed Women’s Barbarians at Thomond Park.
But while being involved in such a ground-breaking fixture will be fantastic, Guest stresses that viewing the game as a much-needed practice run for the interprovincials next month is crucial.
“It will be a great privilege to be in a game like the first Barbarians fixture. It will be massive for the girls to play in a game as huge as this. Everyone grows up watching the Barbarians and they play great rugby. Aside from it being a historic fixture, it also provides a much-needed game time and it will give us a chance to look at a few players before we hone in on our final 23 for the interprovincials.
“Getting a Women’s Barbarians side together is long overdue as well. A lot of compliments and credit have to go the Barbarians side for wanting to put this fixture and choosing us as their first opposition. Then of course credit needs to go to the Munster branch for their work in making sure that we play this fixture.”
Speaking on the highly anticipated interprovincials, Guest, in an exclusive interview with Limerick Voice, said that Munster’s international contingent will be aiming to get put the disappointment of the World Cup behind them.
She also paid compliment to the sterling work done by last year’s head coach Wayne Falvey, and said that Munster aim to build on last year and reclaim the interprovincial title.
“Wayne Falvey had a successful stint coaching Munster last year and there was a lot of expectation on him following on from the three in a row. I think a title decider against Leinster is always a tough one to finish on and unfortunately we fell short (last year). It wasn’t through a lack of effort or desire from the girls or any of the coaching team last year but when Munster do suffer a loss it usually gives the next match a bit of a bite so I’m hoping that we can use that in a very positive way this year.
“I can’t really look beyond the first game against Connacht, the very first fixture on December 2. I thought the last few years Connacht have been on an upward curve. So I think we really have to focus on ourselves if we want bring that interprovincial title back to Munster.”
Kick-off is at 2:30pm on Friday and will be followed later that evening by a clash between Tonga and The Barbarians.
Read more of this wide-ranging and in-depth interview with Laura Guest in the Limerick Voice newspaper, available in December.