Some RaboDirect PRO12 coaches might be bemoaning the autumn internationals with call ups leaving their squads looking a bit threadbare – but not Munster director of rugby Rob Penney.
On paper it would seem like Munster have been hit hard by the autumn Tests, Penney’s side going down 13-6 to Scarlets at Musgrave Park on Sunday.
But the saving grace for Penney was that the players representing Munster on the international stage did the club proud – Donnacha Ryan, Peter O’Mahony, Conor Murray, Keith Earls and Simon Zebo all helping Ireland to a thumping win over Argentina.
And Penney insists this feel-good factor will help Munster in the long run, even if they have to make do without in the meantime.
“I think it was exciting Donnacha Ryan had such a dominant performance in that last Test [for Ireland],” Penney told the Irish Times.
“I thought Peter O’Mahony really came on and had a big influence on the tough, robust aspects of that game.
“And out the back we were really happy with Conor Murray and Keith Earls playing so well. “When a guy like that gets an opportunity and comes through as well as he has [Simon Zebo playing full-back for Ireland] it is wonderful for everyone involved.
“He has created another positional option for us. Every time they get put against world class opposition like that it is an opportunity for some of the younger blokes to grow.”