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Dublin: 6°C Thursday 26 November 2020

'Ben Healy's transformation over the last six months has gone through the roof'

Munster senior coach Stephen Larkham has hailed the impact Ben Healy and JJ Hanrahan have had on the team this season.

Healy has been lauded by Larkham.
Healy has been lauded by Larkham.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

STEPHEN LARKHAM KNOWS a thing or two about holding the controls. As Australia’s first-choice out-half for a decade that included the 1999 World Cup win, the Munster senior coach has plenty to be pleased about this season.

First came the Ben Healy show, then the JJ Hanrahan revival. At some point we’ll also be introduced to Jack Crowley, who was superb in an Irish Under 20 shirt last season.

“I’m very happy with the way they’re controlling the game, JJ and Ben,” said Larkham today. “They both have got a really good skill set.

“We are definitely moving towards a system where they can take full control of the team once you’re on the field and I think Ben and JJ are doing a really good job of that.

“Ben’s transformation of the last six months, his understanding of the way we want to play, has gone through the roof. So I’m very happy with what he’s putting out there and JJ has probably had his best run ever in Munster colours in terms of the number of games started in a row, adding continuity to his game.

“He too has a real good understanding of the way we want to play at the moment so to at the moment those two are really cementing in that position and doing a really good job.”

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So for that matter are Munster, winning five on the spin this season. They are next tested on Monday, firstly by the logistics of getting in and out of Glasgow on match-day, secondly by the match itself.

“Everything is out of whack at the moment because we are playing these Monday night games which have been very enjoyable and great from the spectators point of view,” Larkham said. 

“We play at 8 o’clock on Monday night so we are actually travelling on the morning of the game, which is completely different from what we would normally do. So guys have to get their head around it and hopefully we don’t have any issues with the plane taking off or landing, although we have built in a little bit of fat over that sort of stuff.

“It’s going to be an unusual week in terms of the game-day preparation and I guess they are in a very similar situation to us with lockdown so when we get in the country we have to be very careful about how far away we go in our allotted area. Then we fly back straight after the game that night so all of that in itself is a challenge, let alone coming up against a team like Glasgow.”

Mike Sherry joins Gavan and Murray to preview the big one in Twickenham:

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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Garry Doyle

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