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Peter O'Mahony is relishing the prospect of facing Gloucester in the Heineken Champions Cup on Friday night on the back of two 'booster weeks'.
Under the IRFU's player management programme, O'Mahony was rested for Munster's Guinness PRO14 defeat to Ulster in Belfast on December 21 before assuming the role of water boy for the province's win over Leinster the following week.
After two weeks on the sidelines the Munster captain looked refreshed as he took to the field against Connacht on Saturday and, while unhappy to miss the inter-provincial derbies, he is feeling the benefits of the rest.
"It's no secret that we are well-managed from the IRFU side of things," O'Mahony is quoted as saying in the Irish Independent.
"The strength and conditioning (S&C) group and management were keen to get me a bit of a rest and to get a good clatter of gym stuff and a S&C booster week on top of a bit of a rest week as well.
"Sometimes it is hard when you are a player, you obviously want to play rugby and certainly for me I get a benefit out of consistency in games and that kind of thing, but you trust the backroom guys and the S&C group here, how well looked after we are and their thought process of picking these weeks to get a bit of work done and stay fresh for what will, hopefully be, a long season.
"They (the interpros) are the ones you want to be involved in, they are as close as you are going to get to Europe and being at home in Thomond Park, you want to play all those games, but as I said, you trust the guys who are looking after you in Ireland and here.
"They know what they are doing and as I said, I felt great last weekend and was happyish with the way it went.
"It is a stressful enough environment and it is nice to certainly get a few days away and chill out and, as I said, get some good work done as well."
Despite losing to Castres before Christmas, Munster top Pool 2 with 12 points but another defeat could prove costly for the Irish province and O'Mahony is confident they have learned from their defeat to the Top 14 side.
"The beauty of rugby is you have a game the following weekend, well most fellas had, you have to get back into it, learn your lessons and get on with it," he explained. "(You) try and implement fixes for things that went wrong that day. We certainly did a lot of that over the last two weeks.
"Our standards were quite high and we improved some of the stuff that we weren't very happy with.
"We have got to keep building now this weekend.
"It's hugely important that we certainly get our performance because if we don't get our performance we are not going to be winning this weekend.
Munster head to Kingsholm to face Gloucester in the Heineken Champions Cup on Friday, 11 January live on BT Sport 2 on the eir sport pack [kick-off 7.45pm]. Subscribe here
Image: Inpho Photography/Ryan Byrne