Munster players are working as hard as ever as they wait for rugby to return 

Munster players are working as hard as ever as they wait for rugby to return 
Munster senior coach Stephen Larkham is keeping the players fit and focused despite the shutdown. Picture: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

EVEN though they might not be together at training, the intensity with which the Munster players are taking on the tasks handed to them has not dropped.

Because they have to train remotely and adhere to government guidelines around social distancing and non-essential travel, each of the Munster players are training on their own.

However, the coaching staff have divided all the players in the senior squad and academy into 10 groups of six and that seems to bring out their strong competitive spirit says assistant coach Stephen Larkham.

“Their training involves four days a week, the equivalent of on-the-field and doing bodyweights. We’re just pairing those sessions with some skills sessions.

“And then we just put small little programmes in place. So every day they’re out working – either running or in their home gym, they have to complete a little challenge.

“This week it was a little bit of off-the-ground stuff so combining their ball control whilst they’re working off the ground. So every week has been a slightly different theme.

“There are 10 different groups with about six or seven players in each group. And they’re all to report to the leader of those groups with their time,” says Larkham.

“Some videos have been posted and we’ve asked for updates to continue through the leaders, which comes back to the coaching staff.

“It’s pretty obvious from working with them for a while which guys are more competitive than others and those guys who are competitive are the ones that are really trying to get their best time or best score in all of them.

“From a skills challenge point of view, each group has been following the programme so far and a couple of groups have come up with some individual skills that they posted for the others to have a look at as well, so there’s a bit of a challenge between groups too.” 

Keeping the players focused on their training schedule is vital for the coaching group as they monitor the condition of each player and make sure they are adhering to their programmes in these challenging times.

“I think that the danger with that is we’re trying to monitor exactly what we’re doing with the players, particularly when it comes to their weights and running programmes,” said Larkham.

“There are a couple of fads that are out there on social media that could encourage players to deviate, but we’re trying to make sure they stick with the schedule so we can work them back into the programme correctly,” said the Munster assistant coach.

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