Peter O’Mahony has warned that Munster will have to produce their best performance of the year in order to beat Saracens in the Champions Cup semi-final on Saturday.
The province edged past Edinburgh in the quarter-final last month thanks to two tries from Keith Earls. In the other match-up, Saracens registered 56 points against Glasgow, without the help of their talisman, Owen Farrell.
O’Mahony insists that they are under no illusion as to the scale of the challenge that awaits them in the Ricoh Arena.
“It’s a massive task for us, it’s a huge task. We’re not going to beat about the bush. Again, when it comes down to it, it’s 80 minutes and it’s two teams. We’ve given ourselves an opportunity and the worst thing to do would be to go down without a fight, that’s all we can do. Prepare and try to play as well as we can.
“We know when we play as well as we can, we can mix it with the best. It’s going to have to be the best that we’ve put in all year.”
Saracens squad is littered with a host of “world class” players including Farrell, Liam Williams and Brad Barritt while Director of Rugby, Mark McCall confirmed that Billy Vunipola will be available for selection despite last week’s controversy in which he defended Israel Folau’s following his anti-gay Instagram post. Vunipola was booed off the pitch during their defeat to Bristol at the weekend.
Given their meetings in recent years, the Munster captain is more than familiar with the quality of the Saracens contingent.
“Their form at the moment is obviously very good as well. The Glasgow game, even without Owen [Farrell], he’s going to come back in and make a savage impact. He’s world class, a huge amount of their team is world class.
“I think we understand that it’s going to have to be the best game of the year. It always is at this time of our year, particularly against a team with the quality that these guys have. 80, 85 minutes of 23 of us playing the best rugby we possibly have.”