Leinster coach Joe Schmidt has spoken of the special allure of a Leinster-Munster derby clash ahead of their meeting in the RaboDirect PRO12 at Aviva Stadium on Saturday.
“It’s always a game that has a certain allure to it. That allure comes from the players knowing each other so well,” said Schmidt.
“Combining so well in a green jersey, but when they’re wearing red and blue, it becomes like trying to get one over on your brother.
“There’s always a little bit more kind of spite in it. There’s a little bit more spark in it. That’s one of the reasons derby games draw the crowd really.”
The Leinster supremo has also spoken of how the match has taken on a life of its own in the public mindset.
He said: “People talk about the PRO12 and the Heineken Cup, and separate to that is the derby game Munster-Leinster.
“I think that’s a great thing to have – a derby game. Yes, there’s PRO12 points up for grabs, and we both would like to get that, but it’s about a lot more than that, you know" - Joe Schmidt
“I think that’s a great thing to have – a derby game. Yes, there’s PRO12 points up for grabs, and we both would like to get that, but it’s about a lot more than that, you know.
“That’s one of the reasons I think supporters and players, and just the atmosphere, becomes that more charged.”
Munster go into the tie with Leinster on the back of a defeat to Ospreys, but Schmidt was impressed with Rob Penney’s team.
“That’s not massively surprising,” said Schmidt. “Ospreys are a very tough side and I think that Munster acquitted themselves fairly well.
“They were right in that game until [Richard] Hibbard’s try in almost the 70th minute. So they were right in that game for a long period, even though they were struggling to get a rhythm.
“That rhythm will continue to come. I can see the real structure that Rob’s put into their game.
“That seems to be gelling well with what the players want to do.”