The Munster captain Anthony Foley said yesterday that the pain of two previous Heineken Cup final defeats will inspire his men to triumph over Biarritz in tomorrow's final in Cardiff.
"It's no fun waking up the next day after you've lost a final," said Foley, who has played in all but one of Munster's 76 Heineken Cup matches over the past 11 years.
"We've experienced that and it's a big motivating factor for us this time around. The disappointments we've felt in the past will spur us on against Biarritz. The first time we played at the Millennium Stadium was against Leicester. It was claustrophobic and the noise levels were not something we had come across before, it's nice to have that experience under our belt as well because it can be a rude awakening if you're not prepared for it."
Bristol's highly rated scrum-half Shaun Perry has signed on for a further two years at the Memorial Stadium. Perry, who had been lined up to go to Australia with England this summer until he was diagnosed with a fractured wrist, is now tied to the club until the end of the 2008/09 season.
Gloucester yesterday added former Scotland international Carl Hogg to their coaching staff. Hogg, 36, who is assistant coach at Edinburgh, has been appointed academy manager.
Hogg will join another former Scotland international Bryan Redpath on the staff at Kingsholm when he takes up the post after Edinburgh's final Celtic League match next weekend.
Mike Friday, the England Sevens coach, has named a 16-man squad ahead of the final two rounds of the World Sevens Series in Paris (27, 28 May) and London (3, 4 June).
Simon Amor captains a squad that is without Henry Paul, whose recent return to rugby league with Harlequins makes him unavailable. The squad will be reduced to 12 before the departure to Paris next Thursday.
The British Lions No8 Lawrence Dallaglio will captain a World XV against a Saracens XV in a benefit match for Richard Hill at Vicarage Road on Sunday.Reuse content