The best way for the Ireland players to recover from their haunting World Cup loss to New Zealand is to hit the ground running with their provinces, according to Munster prop James Cronin.
The southern province had a 12-man contingent included in Joe Schmidt’s World Cup squad with Peter O’Mahony, Conor Murray, CJ Stander and Keith Earls all starting against the All Blacks while Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell, Tadhg Beirne and Joey Carbery were among the replacements.
The internationals are due back to Munster’s High-Performance Centre in Limerick on November 4 and while they may miss out on their opening inter-provincial clash of the season against Ulster the following weekend, they are expected to feature in Munster’s Champions Cup opener against Ospreys on November 16.
Munster players are no strangers to dealing with heartbreaking defeats and according to Cronin, the squad will reintegrate the players as quickly as possible so they can focus on the task at hand.
“[They need to] get back in and around the squad.
“We’ll put our arm around them but we’ll slag them as well and that’s the best way to get over it. Get back out on the field and play another game is usually the best remedy.
“They’re all itching today I’d say, they all want to play a game as soon as possible.
“Different systems, little things. They’re home as well. They were away in Japan and they were away for six weeks. I’d say it’s just nice to get back to their families and get back to a proper routine.
“I presume they were changing hotels a lot over there, from social media they did a lot of travelling so back to a bit of normality is probably what they need.”
The province are heading into a massive block of 13 games in a row which include four inter-provincial derbies and six key Champions Cup clashes.
Squad rotation will be key during the formidable block of games and the 28-year-old Cork native is hoping for plenty of game time after a string of unfortunate injuries dating back to November 2018.
“It was a tough one. Last November, I had a bit of a knee issue and we tried to rehab it here first but that wasn’t really working. Went up to Santry and got a bit of a cleanout job and it was a bit of a disaster after that.
“I was almost back then I tweaked my hamstring before the quarter-final for Europe so that was the goal to get back for that. Then before the semi-final, I tweaked it again and I was massively frustrated. I was trying my hardest to get back out on the field and the body was just saying ‘cool the jets’.
“Then on the flip of it, you get to appreciate the game a bit more. You take every training session, every game not for granted and they’re the positives I’m taking from it. It’s tough out there on your own when you’re running on Monday, Tuesdays and you’re not out there with the lads and you don’t feel like you’re contributing.
“Thankfully, I’m out the other side and I’m really appreciating the game again. We’ve 13 weeks coming up so, hopefully, I’ll be playing a good few games.”