Champions Cup: Munster v Saracens will have 'special atmosphere'

Mark McCall
Mark McCall says his players will have to handle the emotion of the occasion when they face Munster later this month

Saracens will face a "special atmosphere" when they play Munster in the Champions Cup semi-finals, says the team's director of rugby Mark McCall.

The defending champions crushed Glasgow 38-13 on Sunday to set up a last-four tie in Dublin on 22 April.

Munster have been playing on a wave of emotion since the death of head coach Anthony Foley in October.

McCall said: "I don't think our players realise what is coming. It's important they do by the time we get there."

He believes handling the emotion of the occasion will be a significant challenge for his players as they seek back-to-back European titles.

"I think it's going to be one of the most special atmospheres anyone has ever played in," McCall added.

"There is going to be an emotional element to it, and we must make sure we are ready for that and can cope with that.

"It's going to be a very, very special occasion to be part of, but that's not enough for us, we want to keep on going in this competition."

Anthony Foley earned 62 Ireland caps before joining Munster's coaching staff
Anthony Foley died suddenly, aged 42, in the Paris hotel where Munster were staying prior to their game against Racing 92 in October

A number of Saracens players will be returning to Dublin a matter of weeks after England were denied a Grand Slam, while Wasps were also heavily beaten by Leinster at the Aviva on Saturday.

"The fact a lot of our players played in that England against Ireland game is going to help," McCall said.

"We have a very experienced group who relish these big occasions."

Saracens are still on course for a second successive domestic and European double, and captain Brad Barritt says the squad is hungrier than ever.

"We are a trusted group of friends who are honest with each other and push each other hard to be the best team we can be," Barritt told BBC 5 live.

"We have obviously set ourselves a mountain to climb from the success last year, but the pleasing thing is the hunger and the desire in the squad is bigger than it's ever been."

You can listen to BBC Radio 5 live's Rugby Union Weekly podcast here.

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