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Dublin: 13 °C Thursday 6 August, 2020
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James Downey targeting another hit-filled Heineken Cup weekend

The Munster centre has Wesley Fofana and Regan King in his sights.

James Downey gave Harlequins' Mike Brown a torrid time.
James Downey gave Harlequins' Mike Brown a torrid time.
Image: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

HARLEQUINS’ MIKE BROWN was having a season to remember until he got ram-raided into the turf during a Heineken Cup semi-final three weeks ago.

The England winger, playing fullback for Quins’ on the day, fielded a Ronan O’Gara grubber kick and attempted to turn defence into attack as he ran the ball out of his 22.

He got a yard outside before he ran into Munster’s James Downey. Attack over, tide turned and the visitors soon had an attacking scrum for a knock-on. Munster went on to win 18-12.

Downey told TheScore.ie, “We had identified it beforehand that he doesn’t like to kick too much so it meant he was in my vicinity and it was one of those good connections.

It was one of those things that, if he had went the other way, I might have missed him but I caught him well and… good feeling.

“Hopefully. I’ll try line up a few [against Clermont Auvergne] and see what I can do. It’s all for the team. If I can get the team on the front foot then so be it.

YouTube credit: Antetempor

Downey spoke of the focus that the team brought to that game at The Stoop. Similar confabs have been held in the run-up to Saturday’s game and you can be sure that a hotel in Montpelier tonight will feature the raucous yelling of 30 Munster men, and coaches, in a makeshift battle HQ.

The direct opposition in midfield this weekend comes in the form of Clermont captain and ‘big,strong’ Wesley Fofana and Regan King, who starts at inside centre in place of injured captain Aurélien Rougerie.

“We’re up against it,” admits Downey, “but that’s the way we like it.” He added, “It’s a cup game, a one-off game and Munster thrives on that.”

*Additional reporting by Aoife Danagher of limerickrugby.ie

TheScore.ie will be liveblogging Clermont v Munster from 5:30pm tomorrow.

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Patrick McCarry

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