Leinster coach, Matt Williams, has delayed naming his side to face Leicester in Sunday’s European Heineken Cup quarter final at Welford Road with doubts hanging over four of his players.
Leinster coach, Matt Williams, has delayed naming his team to face Leicester in Sunday’s European Heineken Cup quarter final at Welford Road with doubts hanging over four of his players. With the Six Nations Championship just two weeks away, Internationals Malcolm O’Kelly and Shane Horgan need clearance from IRFU doctors as will Ireland A squad member, Reggie Corrigan, before Williams can finalise his starting fifteen.
The other concern is with outhalf Nathan Spooner who missed Leinster’s last game against Toulouse and it’s a position that has caused Williams – who was recently named Ireland A coach – no small amount of headache. All three relief outhalves, Emmet Farrell, Andy Dunne and Brian O’Meara, have been consigned to the treatment table and as a result, Williams has called up the relatively untried duo of Richard Governey and Shane Moore as cover.
Just who will fill the number 10 jersey if Spooner doesn’t prove his fitness is open to debate but Williams has hinted that he may move either Girvan Demspey or Brian O’Driscoll . The safe money would be with Dempsey with Peter McKenna coming in at full back. Williams was able to see the funny side of things but is in no doubt about the task facing his men as they take on the favourites this Sunday.
” People will say they’ve lost their last two games and will also point to the fact that we have previously beaten them at Welford Road. Admittedly they put out a weakened team that day and I think that overall, history goes out the window on Sunday.”
“My belief is that on any given day, any team is capable of beating the other. We have dipped a bit since we won the Celtic League final and I was always worried that after the Newcastle game was switched we might struggle in our last game”
Indeed Leinster’s heavy defeat away to Toulouse denied them a home draw despite winning all but one of their pool games with a lower try count costing them a plum tie on home soil. Nonetheless Leinster will be bringing strong support with them and their popularity goes beyond the channel with a supporters club in Cornwall dedicated to them. Indeed it was reported that some travelled 600 miles from the English County to see the Leinster Lions against Newcastle earlier this month.
Backs(from) Ben Willis, Simon Keogh,Nathan Spooner, Richard Governey, Shane Moore, Shane Horgan, Adam Magro, Brian O’Driscoll, Gordon D’Arcy, Denis Hickie, John McWeeney, Girvan Dempsey, Peter McKenna.
Forwards (from). Reg Corrigan (Capt), Shane Byrne, Peter Coyle, Emmet Byrne, Leo Cullen, Malcolm O’Kelly, Trevor Brennan, Eric Miller, Victor Costello, Aidan McCullen, Paul Wallace, Bob Casey, Gavin Hickie, Keith Gleeson, Liam Toland.