Conor O'Shea: Harlequins must control fear against Munster

O'Shea wants Quins to show ambition

Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea has urged his side to play with freedom when they face Munster in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals.

Quins welcome the Irish outfit to the Twickenham Stoop on Sunday afternoon.

He told BBC London: "They are a good side and this is cup rugby now. There is no other chance. That fear brings out different things in people.

"Hopefully we can control that fear and put in our ambition We want to play - that is the way this team is built."

Harlequins fell at the group stage of last year's competition but won all their games this season to finish top of their pool and set up a meeting with Munster, who won the trophy in 2006 and 2008.

Robshaw looks to savour Munster tie

"This is a quarter-final against a team who have got there 14 times and have won it a few times, but also have heartache along the way," O'Shea added. "This is what it is all about.

"We said coming out of the pool we don't care who we play against. It is tough to play Munster at any time but we just want to get out there."

Quins and England captain Chris Robshaw hopes the side can make the most of the opportunity in front of them.

"It's my second time [in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals] so it is very exciting as they don't come around very often," Robshaw told BBC London.

"We want to go out there, really savour the moment and hopefully put our game on the pitch.

"They are one of those teams who turn it on for the big stages. We are under no illusions how hard it will be and we need to make sure we start the game well.

"You look at the physicality, work-rate and passion they will have. We don't only need to match it, we need to better it."

Robshaw, who missed the 17-15 defeat at Gloucester, will return to the Harlequins side after being afforded time off by O'Shea.

"I had a bit of stick going away but sometimes, mentally, you need to be able to switch off and relax," Robshaw added.

"You can let the odd knocks and niggles out of the body. Sometimes you need time to recuperate.

"Conor is good with that and giving the boys some time off when appropriate."

Harlequins have lost their last two Premiership matches but O'Shea remains relaxed about their chances of progressing to the semi-finals.

"People over-react," he said. "We did not perform against Saracens at all.

"We were outstanding when we won the LV= Cup, which is a major trophy to have in the bag, and I thought we were magnificent in so many ways against Gloucester last week.

"We lost 17-15 but I said immediately afterwards that we played some brilliant rugby. We want to leave every single piece of us on the pitch from now until the end of the season.

"If we do that and we play with the ambition that this team can play with, we will be more than competitive.

"With the energy of the team and our supporters, it will be an amazing atmosphere and I really can't wait."

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