18 May, 15:44
It's down to the wire now for the five contenders who have been shortlisted for the ultimate individual accolade in northern hemisphere rugby, ERC European Player of the Year 2013.
I haven't done any training since the Northampton game last Saturday week. Basically, I've concentrated on weights sessions and upper body stuff. I've also done 20 minutes bicycle work twice a day but, again, nothing too heavy. I'm not putting much pressure on the leg.
It meant that I missed only my second match this season, and my first through injury, when the boys went to Pau for an important play-off game at the weekend. I watched the match and it was touch and go until the last quarter but then Toulouse pulled away to win 55-33.
It was a fantastic game, full of running rugby by both teams, and Toulouse scored seven tries. This was one of Toulouse's better performances since I joined them this season. Everyone played very well, although again we picked up a few injuries.
Emile Ntamack popped his shoulder although it was put back in straight away while our out-half Yann Delaigue came off with 20 minutes to go. I don't know how serious his injury is.
Apparently Toulouse have a reputation over here for getting stronger as the season goes on, and they usually come up another notch for the play-offs. And that's been the way it's panned out. Their performances in the last few weeks have been the best of the season. They're full of talented runners and play with the kind of flair Irish supporters would expect of a French side.
On Sunday I was introduced to a few more French customs when we were invited out to the country home of a retired judge, Claude Broquiere, who is the father of a neighbour and friend in Toulouse. A six-course meal was laid on and in the afternoon we played a form of French bowling, with heavy metal bowls, on the lawns of his estate.
It was a real French day, finished off by cards in the evening, a game called '21' which they like to play over here. I was never a big card player, even back home, and although they also laid on plenty of drinks I just stuck to my little aperitif, and made sure I got plenty of water on board.
As I seem to have been taking a minimum of two boxes of anti-inflammatories every week for the last ten years of my rugby playing career, when I die I think I'll donate my body to science to see what effects they've had on my liver and other parts of my anatomy.
The excitement over here about the Toulouse-Munster semi-final, and particularly over the ticket situation, has been crazy. Toulouse have the biggest following in France and would have no problems in filling Le Stadium, and its capacity of 37,000, twice over on their own.
But with Munster getting half the allocation people are just crying out for tickets. At 7am yesterday there were over 500 people queuing up outside the club's office, but there were no tickets to be had. Supporters over here are hoping that Munster will return some of their allocation by tomorrow, but I think they'll be waiting.
I've been getting phone calls from fellas I've never heard of and I've just had to take the phone off the hook. We can buy up to 100 tickets each in the squad but I only bought 20 for friends and neighbours. You don't want to be left with a load of them and you don't want the extra hassle.
People are coming over again from Ireland, but I sorted out the hotels and tickets over the weekend. RTE came over today to an interview with me, a three-and-a-half minute interview as part of their build up to the game, mostly about the French way of life and how I've adapted to it.
He asked me "how do you communicate?"
"Through my mouth usually," I said, and he paused and looked at me for a moment. But as I told him, actually half the squad speak very good English. I'm very lucky in that sense.
It's weird but Munster hasn't been mentioned and even yesterday the video analysis for an hour and a half concentrated on our game against Pau. However Guy Noves did says that if you do such-and-such against Munster you will be punished. Ronan O'Gara was mentioned a few times and this is very true. He's a world-class player and goalkicker, and 21 of the points we conceded against Pau came from penalties.
The team trained in Le Stadium yesterday afternoon. It's in a built-up area, what's called a project area over here, and is full of apartments and flats. The game against Northampton was the first time it was used since the EDF explosion nearby which killed 35 people and damaged parts of the ground, so the Northampton match was emotional.
But I don't think that will be quite the case for this game and there's huge respect over here for Munster, and what they've achieved in Europe. Everyone knows they're not coming over here to make up the numbers. It'll be 'on the day'.
The first half will be even, and the second half even tougher. I don't think either team is going to run away with it. They're two very evenly matches squads. If you go through them from one to 22, they both have loads of internationals. There's no-one in the Munster pack who hasn't been capped and it's much he same in the backline.
Toulouse are known as the Real Madrid of French rugby but Munster probably have more present internationals than Toulouse do. Personally I think the game will be won and lost up front. That's my own view. Win, lose or draw, I hope to meet up with a few of the Munster lads afterwards for a drink.
I also watched Perpignan over the weekend when they were beaten 27-12 at home by Stade Francais. I think that might just upset them a bit. Perpignan are different form Toulouse. They play more to the pack, which is very physical and aggressive. They target the scrums, have a good front-row and two good second-rows, and compete well at the line-outs. They don't really have any stars. Matt Williams will know all about their Australian out-half Manny Edmonds, who he'd have coached before.
I think the Biarritz game was a big wake-up call for Leinster. After seven weeks of international rugby they should have scored 40 points but nearly lost it in the end. I don't really want to get into forecasts after my effort before the quarter-finals but I'd be surprised if Leinster didn't win in a packed Lansdowne Road. They have more mobility up front and more pace in their backs.
I spoke to Pa Whelan yesterday. He wanted me to recommend a good restaurant for before the game and then, funnily enough, asked me how the leg was. I wasn't 100% sure whether he was more interested in the restaurant or the leg. He told me Munster supporters will be coming over on bikes, boats, trains, planes - anything. Basically it's the sort of following you expect Munster to bring.
I came over to France to get away from the Munster supporters and now 15,000 of them will be following me over this weekend. There's no getting away from them.
(Trevor Brennan's regular Heineken Cup column can be read on the ERC website, which is at www.ercrugby.com)
(In an interview with Gerry Thornley).