Trip to South Africa can strengthen Munster bond before Champions Cup semi-final

Trip to South Africa can strengthen Munster bond before Champions Cup semi-final
Munster's Simon Zebo and Billy Holland celebrate after the win last weekend. Picture: INPHO/Gary Carr

BILLY Holland says that Munster’s mini-tour to South Africa will benefit the team as they head into the business end of the season.

Munster face Southern Kings on Saturday in George, CJ Stander’s hometown, and the Munster second row says he is really looking forward to the challenges this tour will produce.

“It is really exciting. This squad hasn’t gone on many tours in the last few seasons for many reasons. You get to know fellas better on tour, you build even better relationships and you get to know lads better on tour.

“It’s a unique part of the world and to be heading to CJ’s hometown later in the week is something to really look forward to. But we mustn’t lose sight of the fact we have two important PRO14 matches, first against the Southern Kings and then against the Cheetahs.” 

Some of the squad have played in South Africa before and for Holland this is his first time back in the country since featuring for the Irish U19 side almost 15 years ago.

“I played in U19 World Cup in Durban in 2004 and I haven’t been back to South Africa since so I’m looking forward to the next couple of weeks,” added the 32-year-old.

Times have been confirmed for Munster and Leinster’s European Champions Cup semi-finals with the Blues into action first.

It has been confirmed today that Leo Cullen's side will take on Scarlets at 3.30pm on Saturday, April 21, with Munster in action in the other semi-final the following day.

After beating Toulon last Saturday, Munster will now face familiar foes Racing 92 at the Stade Chaban-Delmas in Bordeaux at 3.15pm Irish time on Sunday April 22.

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