Press bytes from this week’s Munster media conference

Rob Lloyd News

Scarlets head coach Glenn Delaney sat down to speak to the media for another virtual press conference ahead of Saturday’s Guinness PRo14 opener against Munster.

Here is what he had to say …

How was last week’s run out against the Ospreys. Were you happy with it?

GD: “Really happy. It has been a funny pre-season, the nature of the turnaround means we are into competitive games straight away and a number of guys hadn’t had a run so it served a purpose. We tried to get one in place before the derby games and I suspect you’ll see a bit more of this, all the coaches will be trying to make sure we get games for the guys and for us, it was great to see some of our young fellas get on the pitch, some for the first time for the senior team.”

What is the latest with Liam Williams and Rhys Patchell?

GD: “One of them is in contention this weekend, one of them is not. It is the same methodology for all the guys, our processes are well set. Sam Handy (strength and conditioning) does a brilliant job with the rehab and our medical guys do a great job on their side, there is also a lot of collaboration with the WRU giyus. It will be great to see both back, but only when they are ready.”

What about Leigh Halfpenny and Rob Evans?

GD: “Both are in full training. Rob had some surgery, which for a prop we have to make sure his full strength, range and technique is up to speed. Rob deserves a special mention in terms of the work he put in off the field. I don’t think I have ever seen him in as good a shape as he is now.

“The best version of himself is a phrase we use here, he has actually created a new version of the best version of himself. We are really excited by how he is coming back, he won’t be quite ready to go for this weekend, but when he is we will give him that chance. As for Leigh he is in a good place. Just looking back to the game on Friday, it gave us a chance to link the new and the old. Tom Rogers and Leigh had a full debrief straight after the game and is everything you want as a coach, watching the players teaching each other. For someone like Tommy Rog to be learning off Leigh is gold.”

Is it strange starting the season with only half the fixtures being released and not knowing, what sides are coming in?

GD: “It is very different, but there is nothing normal about the last year!  I am sure there will be some wonderful books written about this in 20 years’ time about how we dealt with it and got through it, but all we can do is focus on Munster this Saturday and let the people who run the competition do the best job they can to find a solution.”

What are you expecting from Munster?

GD: “When you play Munster you  know it will be physical and it will be direct. They have a wonderful tactical kicking game, they have a massive physical presence in midfield now, will be strong in the contact and collisions and they also have players that can break you. It is a wonderful challenge and what a great way to start the PRO14 season, a full-blooded contest against a side like them.”