Jump to main content


Hanrahan Expects ‘Physical Battle’ With Scarlets

Hanrahan Expects ‘Physical Battle’ With Scarlets

Talented young back JJ Hanrahan spoke this week about Munster’s derby success against Leinster and gave his thoughts on the Scarlets’ visit to Thomond Park on Friday night.

JJ Hanrahan faced Leinster for the second time in the PRO12 last Saturday, putting the game beyond the hosts by landing Munster’s fifth successful penalty on 76 minutes. The interprovincial win is one the Kerry native will not forget for a while.

“Unbelievable to get a win up there, in terms of the opposition and what they stand for. It was great to turn them over in the Aviva (Stadium). We are obviously delighted about it,” admitted Hanrahan, who won the IRB Nations Cup with Emerging Ireland in June.

Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

“We had a business mindset going up there – we knew what we wanted, we were cool and collected, and we delivered. That was the most exciting thing. There was no great celebration afterwards – it was just another stepping stone to where we wanted to go.

“Axel (Anthony Foley) kept it very calm and cool. He was very positive all week. He had a very strong belief in what he wanted us to achieve up there – you could see it in his eyes, in the way he was talking.

“He talked about being proud, and where he wanted players to get to in terms of representing Ireland, what the game meant to us in terms of getting Munster’s name back up there – that’s a big goal for us.”

Playing predominantly at out-half for Munster, the 2014 Young Player of the Year has also lined out at centre for the province.

“I’m tipping away at both of them (the two positions). I’ve a fair idea of where I want to be in the future, but in terms of what the team needs, Munster need to win at the weekend, so I play my role in that and I want to do the best I can every week for the team, wherever that is. I just want to play my best rugby and try to learn from whatever position I am in.”

While Munster hold a better defensive record than the Scarlets this season, the Welshmen hold the better attacking record, and with just one point separating the sides in the GUINNESS PRO12 table, Hanrahan knows he and his team-mates will need replicate some of the magic from last Saturday’s performance in Dublin to achieve a result on home soil this weekend.

“The Scarlets have been up and down so far this season, but teams always lift their game when they come to play Munster in Thomond Park. I don’t think the Scarlets have a fear of us,” insisted the 22-year-old.

“They turned us over two years ago and we won by a nose last year down in Musgrave Park in a late kick of the game. So they have no fear coming over here.

“We really need to have everything up to scratch in terms of our knowledge and our intensity. We have to prepare for a physical battle. They are a great side who can attack from anywhere. We need to have our wits about us this weekend.”

Munster take on the Scarlets at Thomond Park on Friday (kick-off 7.35pm). Tickets, from €;20 for adults and €;40 for families, can be purchased online here.