MUNSTER coach Anthony Foley doesn’t want his players to get too emotional ahead of Paul O’Connell’s last game in the famous red shirt.
Saturday’s Guinness Pro 12 Ravenhill final against an improving Glasgow Warriors outfit promises to be interesting, but Foley insists his squad won’t focus on the departure of legend O’Connell.
“Paul has done above and beyond for the province, for Young Munster and for Ireland,” Foley said at a press briefing ahead of the decider.
“It wasn’t spoken about last week, it hasn’t been mentioned this week. I think everyone is intelligent enough to understand the situation, to go about doing their job.
“If we all do our jobs to the best of our ability, we’ll get the outcome we deserve. If we start thinking about different things and getting distracted, getting emotional, then that’s a negative, we want to stay on top of it and be positive around it and go and give it our best performance and see where that takes us.
“The final is an occasion when you don’t play the occasion, you play the game.”
Regardless of the result this weekend Foley believes Munster’s future is bright. "A lot of these guys are getting to an age of 25, 26, 27 - a good age for a team to start looking to win trophies, to kick on with their careers, to try to get international careers, to look to establish themselves in teams and looking to be very ambitious in what they're doing.
"If we can start with that and, hopefully, do something on Saturday, then that would be great. If we don't and we end up losing, it's not all doom and gloom.
“We've brought through a lot of players, we're in a good position in that everyone has a clear understanding of how we want to play and what are we looking to do around the game.
"It's a continuous progression. Pick up trophies, get pats on the back along the way - well and good, but for Munster we want to be in these competitions, to be in the knockout stages, to be in the finals and we want to be in with a chance of lifting silverware every year.”