Loughman relishing having 'targets on Munster's back'

Loughman relishing having 'targets on Munster's back'

Ireland and Munster prop Jeremy Loughman has said that the fact Munster has a target on their back makes their derby with fierce rivals Leinster more exciting. 

Both sides will take each other on at the Aviva Stadium this evening. Leinster's dominance in the fixture has gone on for a number of years. However, Munster beat Leinster on their way to their first URC title in 12 years last May. Graham Rowntree's side beat Leinster 16-15 in the same venue as the one being played on Saturday. 

Loughman, who is part of the Ireland squad for the Rugby World Cup, knows many of the Leinster players but will park his friendships with his blue counterparts when the two sides meet. He believes that Munster's win over Leinster will give them added motivation to avenge the close defeat between the sides. 

"Yeah, 100%," said Loughman. "We'll have a big target on our back, and they'll be looking for revenge up there, I know they all will be. 

"It's massively exciting. It will be a proper match - a proper rivalry match - so I'm really looking forward to that. They'll definitely be coming for us, but we'll be looking forward to it." 

Jeremy Loughman of Ireland and Munster (Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Munster initially struggled under Graham Rowntree, their coach, but now with a number of young stars, they seem to be heading places they could only dream about 12 months ago. Loughman believes that the URC win over the Stormers has given Munster the added belief that they can go on to do similar and better things. 

"Yeah, definitely, it was kind of one of those wins we needed to get, a monkey off the back," Loughman added. "It just showed everyone how we were moving forward as a team. 

"And in terms of that rivalry, pushing ourselves as a better team and challenging for those big games, that we're turning up - and not just a semi-final team. 

"So, it was massive, a morale boost for everyone to see that when we do our work right, we can achieve what we're aiming for." 

The game will be broadcast live on TG4 & Premier Sports 1, and it will also be streamed live on the TG4 Player. It's a 6:30pm kick-off.