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Dublin: 13 °C Thursday 6 August, 2020

Munster 'more vicious' than Toulouse but Clermont call on 'thug' Bonnaire

Thomas Domingo pays credit to Paul O’Connell and his pack for ‘eating’ Harlequins at The Stoop.

AS MUNSTER WERE resting Paul O’Connell, Ronan O’Gara and half their frontline stars, Clermont were pitched in battle with Tolouse in the French Top 14.

The Stade Marcel Michelin played host to Louis Picamoles and Thierry Dusautoir, who both scored tries, and the home side withstood a second-half fightback to triumph 39-17.

Munster, meanwhile, allowed Newport Gwent Dragons their sixth league win of a miserable season and, protest as he might, Rob Penney turned the final 20% of his focus on a crucial Heineken Cup semi-final.

Clermont’s Thomas Domingo insists that the gruelling league clash will ultimately stand to his side this Saturday against a Munster side that have more bite to them in cup competitions than Toulouse.

The prop told Midi Olympique, “I think Munster are more vicious. Their pack has more experience and, because of this, they devoured Harlequins in the quarter-finals.”

The paper features two of the league’s best thugs – meant in a complimentary manner – Julien Bonnaire [Clermont] and Bakkies Botha [Toulon] on its front cover.

Cover stars: Bonnaire and Botha. (Credit:

Bonnaire, one of the competition’s stand-out players, tells the paper that ‘a season is only beautiful if there is a title at the end’.

Former Leinster lock Nathan Hines is an outside bet for Lions selection and another disruptive performance in the Clermont second row could seal the deal. He declared:

He is a good player but just one player. He can’t tackle the entire world, even if he tries.” will be liveblogging Clermont v Munster from 5:30pm tomorrow.

Earls returns to Munster line-up for Heineken Cup showdown

James Downey targeting another hit-filled Heineken Cup weekend

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Patrick McCarry

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