Heineken Champions Cup Pool Draw Reaction – Kenny Murray

Heineken Champions Cup Pool Draw Reaction – Kenny Murray

​Glasgow Warriors Assistant Coach Kenny Murray is looking forward to this year’s Heineken Champions Cup following today’s Pool Draw in Switzerland.

Glasgow have been drawn against Premiership runners-up Exeter Chiefs, Challenge Cup runners-up La Rochelle and Sale Sharks.

There is a mix of the unknown and the familiar in Pool 2, with former Warriors Stuart Hogg and Josh Strauss set to return to Scostoun plus a first ever trip to face La Rochelle for Glasgow.

Murray believes it is a Pool that the Warriors can be competitive in.

He said: “It’s a pool I think we should definitely be targeting to qualify from. We’ve been drawn against three tough teams but for me there is no reason we can’t get out of this pool and reach the Quarter Finals again.

“A lot will depend on player availability post the World Cup, it’s such a short turnaround between the end of that tournament and the start of the Champions Cup so hopefully we can field as strong a team as possible in the first two rounds.

“We have played Exeter recently, we know they’re a very good side and they have shown that in the Premiership consistently. Last time we played at Sandy Park we lost narrowly then put in a really good performance at home.

“They’re a good side who play an attractive brand of rugby, so both games against them should be exciting.

“With Hoggy playing for them next season it brings an extra sense of sentiment to the game, he’ll be keen to come back to Scotstoun and play well.

“We know Stuart’s strengths and we know what to do to put him under pressure. He’s a world class player and we’ll need to be very aware of him.

“La Rochelle had a great season in the Top14 last year and played well in Europe too reaching the Challenge Cup Final.

“They’re physical and have some very good players up front but I think they’ll be a much better side from an attacking point of view next season with Ronan O’Gara coming in as Head Coach.

“He’s an excellent coach with an in-depth understanding of our division having played with Munster for so long and he knows how we like to play. He’ll develop their attack and add to what is an already very threatening team.

“Sale have recruited very well. Lood de Jager is a quality second-row and Faf de Klerk is one of the best scrum-halves in the world at the minute.

“We’ve not played them recently, so it’ll be a new challenge and as all English sides do they’ll try and dominate from the start and make life difficult for us.

“We have one of the best travelling supports in the competition and I’m sure we’ll see lots of Glasgow fans in Exeter, Manchester and on the west coast of France.”

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