The Munster that once were have lost that thunder clap of menace

If Munster make it to the Champions Cup final next season it will be 15 years since their last in 2008. It’s a sobering thought to know that Keith Earls in the current squad is the only player to have been involved in that distant memory win over Toulouse. On the bench that day, young Earls did not see game time.
As Munster were beating the French team 16-13 in the Millennium Stadium, few could have foreseen that the best supported side in the competition would, over a decade and a half later, be looking at a drought and a team that sometimes appears to be hoping for opportunity rather than making and expecting it.
The club now has young teen fans who have no real experience of Munster in a European final, whose only memories are …