The future may be looking very bright for Munster but veteran lock Mick O’Driscoll isn’t ready to step aside just yet as the defending champions’ RaboDirect PRO12 campaign continues to gather pace.
Head coach Tony McGahan made as many as 13 changes to the side that won so impressively in the Heineken Cup against Castres but still saw his side dispose of Edinburgh last weekend.
That 34-17 win in the RaboDirect PRO12 kept the Red Army in third place in the table, just two points behind this week’s opponents Ospreys who sit top of the pile.
And O’Driscoll has heaped praise on the youngsters and role players who came in and performed so effectively last time out.
“We made 13 changes for the Edinburgh game and a lot of guys had probably not played a lot of rugby in the last 4-6 weeks, certainly at this level, so we have to take positives from that, I thought we did quite well,” he said.
“There were plenty of guys in totally new positions but we were all there with one aim and that was to win the game.
“It was a chance to put ourselves forward as best we could, the players who haven’t been playing every week or have been stuck on the bench for the last couple of games.
“That can be frustrating for the likes of myself so we wanted to prove ourselves and the same goes for the youngsters who came in but for them it’s more about getting as much experience under their belts as they can.”
And O’Driscoll admits that he is already looking over his shoulder as the next generation of Munster stars like Luke O’Dea and Tommy O’Donnell continue to impress.
“A lot of us are pushing on in years and it’s vital that these young guys step up to the mark, we’re certainly not going to step aside and let them in but it’s important that they take their chances,” he added.
“It can only be good for Munster in the long run if we can combine these young guys coming up with experienced guys in the team.
“We still had three internationals in our front five, regardless of if guys are rested, injured or anything like that our aim is to keep the same level of performance from game to game.”