Tadhg Beirne Looking Forward To Going Up Against ‘Predecessor’ Donnacha Ryan
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When the news broke back in 2017 that lock Donnacha Ryan would be leaving Munster for Racing 92 – fans were understandably devasted.
The Tipperary man had finally overcome a torrid injury spell and was playing some of his best rugby for club and country. A deal was offered to retain him, but apparently it paled in comparison to what was on offer with the Parisian side.
He struggled with injury for the first few months of his debut season with Racing but recovered in time to almost single-handedly beat Munster in Paris in the pool stages of the Champions Cup before going on to help them knock out the Irish province in the semi-finals that year.
But last summer saw the arrival of a certain Tadhg Beirne from Scarlets, a man tasked with filling the massive void that Ryan had left in Munster’s engine room. And let’s be honest – he’s done a fine job, both for Munster and Ireland.
This weekend he looks set to come up against his ‘predecessor’ for the first time and he’s looking forward to the challenge.
“Haha predecessor,” Beirne chuckled when we asked him if he was looking forward to coming up against the Tipperary man.
“I wouldn’t say that now!
“Yeah look, I don’t know him personally. You hear the lads chatting about him and they all speak highly of him.
“I watched him before I broke through and he’s a serious operator. He’s physical and good in the lineout. He’s someone you’d definitely look at and say ‘he’s a good player’
“It’ll be an interesting match-up and I’m looking forward to playing against him.
And in terms of Racing as a whole, Beirne knows he and the rest of the Munster pack have their work cut out this weekend in Thomond Park.
“They’re one of the best contesting sides in terms of the lineout that we’ve come across doing our reviews,” Beirne added.
“That’s certainly going to be our biggest challenge going into this game. It’s an exciting challenge and [we’re] looking forward to playing them to see how we get on.
“They’re a very good side, I’m sure it will be a tight game,”