Munster's coach Declan Kidney and newly-appointed captain Paul O'Connell talk ahead of tonight's Magners League clash with reigning champions Ulster.
- ON THE ULSTER GAME -
"We are well aware of the challenge facing us. Ulster scored more than 30 points in three of their four games so far and that tells its own story.
"We want to win every game but we know that might not be possible. However, it is very important to get good results from our home games. We are not guaranteed our place in the Heineken Cup next season. We must earn our qualification and hence this game is so important against the team who are this season's number one qualifier from this country."
- ON HIS HEINEKEN CUP SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT -
"It will be done next week, but not before I have a chance to talk to those players who are in as well as those who will have to be left out. Nobody is guaranteed their place, and there are no shoe-ins."
- ON FORMER CAPTAIN ANTHONY FOLEY -
"Anthony was very happy to pass on the armband to Paul (O'Connell). He sees it as a good move and that's a measure of his generosity to the whole team. Anthony has always put the team above his own personal goals and he will do for this team whatever that takes.
"He was a great captain and is delighted to be one of the senior vice captains with Ronan O'Gara."
- ON ULSTER'S UPWARD CURVE -
"You look at them now and you see so many Ulster-born players involved, and it seems to be working well for them. They have an edge now with the younger players and that's something Munster have had as well for years.
"They've brought on the young players over the last few seasons but I always believed they always had fabulous young players with loads of potential. The likes of Paddy Wallace, Neil Best, Neil McMillan, Roger Wilson and Isaac Boss are all on top form. They seem to be gelling well and becoming a very tidy, cohesive team. I know they have brought in a few players from the Southern Hemisphere like Isaac Boss and Justin Harrison but they are top class.
"And that's what you do - that's how you breed success. That's how you get the best out of young guys. I think sometimes if you bring in journey men, it can often dilute the passion you have in a squad."
- ON THE MAGNERS LEAGUE -
"We were raising our game massively for the Heineken Cup last year but we had some terribly, terribly disappointing performances away from home in the Celtic League.
"I remember being in some very disappointed dressing rooms and I think to be considered a great side you need to win your domestic leagues as well.
"You need to perform very well away from home and that's what we need to do more. I think if you look at the consistency that Ulster had in the league last year, that's the level we need to get to."
- ON HUMPHREYS AND HARRISON -
"Ulster are flying and they've got Humphs (David Humphreys) there now on a constant basis. That's a big plus for them. He's one of their main communicators and organisers. Now that he's out of the national set-up, he brings a certain tidiness to their whole set-up.
"Then they have (Justin) Harrison, who is their main organiser and communicator in the pack. He is there all the time and both he and Humphs are not being pulled away for international camps anymore. I think that's been a big reason for their success so far this season."