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How Franco Smith describes Glasgow KO challenge against Munster

By PA
RG Snyman and Tadhg Beirne of Munster celebrate a scrum penalty during the United Rugby Championship quarter-final match between Munster and Ospreys at Thomond Park in Limerick. (Photo By Harry Murphy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Franco Smith readily acknowledges the task that awaits his Glasgow team in Saturday’s United Rugby Championship semi-final clash against Munster.

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Glasgow face the reigning URC champions in Limerick, tackling a Munster side unbeaten for 10 league games and just two wins away from completing a successful title defence.

“Munster are one of the top teams, and I can’t remember when they haven’t made the top eight or played in the top four,” Glasgow head coach Smith said.

“If you look at the way they came back after the (38-26) defeat against us last year, they just kept rolling it out and won the competition away from home, which says a lot.

“They are unbeaten in the last 10 games, including two of those being in South Africa.”

Glasgow underlined strong title credentials with an impressive victory over quarter-final opponents the Stormers last time out, and Smith has named an unchanged team under Kyle Steyn’s captaincy.

Fixture
United Rugby Championship
Munster
10 - 17
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Glasgow
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It is the Warriors’ first URC semi-final appearance since 2019, with a solitary switch among the replacements seeing Murphy Walker taking over from Nathan McBeth.

Smith added: “I hope the boys show the same collective and calm approach that they did last week. Continuity so late in the season is most important.

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“What has happened doesn’t count, it is the next action that is going to be the most important. There is not a second chance in knockout rugby.

“Your approach changes a little bit, but you must find the balance so that you have enough continuity of what took you into the semi-finals, but still have the ability to be more precise and clinical in your execution.”

Munster progressed to the last four by defeating Ospreys, and head coach Graham Rowntree has made four changes from that game.

Full-back Mike Haley and fit-again centre Alex Nankivell start, with Simon Zebo moving to the wing after a leg knock ruled out Calvin Nash.

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In the pack, lock Fineen Wycherley and number eight Jack O’Donoghue are called up, replacing RG Snyman and Gavin Coombes, who are among the replacements.

The winners at Thomond Park will face South African heavyweights the Bulls or Leinster in the final on June 22.

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