The Heineken Cup will return with a bang this weekend – and the quarter-finals promise to get off to a seismic start when Llanelli Scarlets and defending champions Munster collide under the Stradey Park floodlights on Friday night.
And David Wallace, one of Ireland’s Triple Crown heroes, believes that his international back row team-mate and Llanelli Scarlets captain Simon Easterby could be the dangerman in Munster’s bid to go a giant step closer to the 12th tournament final at Twickenham on Sunday, 20 May.
“Simon is such an unsung hero and is in the form of his life at the moment so stopping him doing what he does best will be crucial to our chances of winning,” said Wallace, who has appeared in 53 Heineken Cup matches for the Irish province.
“He will be trying to get into our faces from the start – something he does so well – and you can imagine just how much he will relish doing that.
“Simon was outstanding in the championship and just seems to get better and better.
“And while he will certainly be passing on a few tips about us to the Scarlets players, we also know all about him as a player as well so it certainly promises be an interesting battle on Friday night.
“We have had a few words about it already and it will all be friendly stuff – until we get out on the pitch. Then it will change as both teams will be going full pelt at each other in what is going to be just a massive game.”
It will be the first Heineken Cup clash between the teams but, as well as the two-way flow of information through the Easterby connection, their regular league meetings mean they know a fair bit about each other in all departments.