Jump to main content


Tributes Paid To Champions Leinster

Tributes Paid To Champions Leinster

Ireland coach Declan Kidney and An Taoiseach Brian Cowen were among those who offered their congratulations to Leinster in the aftermath of the province’s 19-16 Heineken Cup final win over Leicester Tigers on Saturday.

With the RBS 6 Nations trophy, the Triple Crown, Magners League silverware and the Heineken Cup all now residing in Ireland, Grand Slam-winning coach Declan Kidney agreed that it is ‘a very special time in Irish rugby.’

Speaking prior to Ireland’s summer tour match against Canada, he said: “I think for the Leinster lads, knowing how much it means to them and how hard they worked for it, I’m absolutely delighted for them.

Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

“They fully deserved their win and I hope they enjoy every minute of the celebrations.”

Irish tour captain Rory Best commented after the Canadian game: “It’s great from an Irish rugby point of view. Munster have won the Magners League, Ireland have won the Grand Slam, Leinster have now won the Heineken Cup and we have come out here with a lot of young players and won a game here.

“So for Irish rugby it’s great and it just shows that we are on the way up. I have to give hearty congratulations to Leinster as they definitley deserved to lift the trophy.”

An Taoiseach Brian Cowen, who attended the final at Murrayfield, said he was ‘absolutely delighted’ to see Michael Cheika’s squad follow in the footsteps of Ulster and Munster in becoming champions of Europe.

He said: “This season has been a golden year for Irish rugby and this victory is another special sporting moment.

“Everyone in the country will take great pride in the fact that a side from our shores are now the European champions once again.

“This honour is well deserved as the Leinster squad have displayed courage, commitment, a real will to win and, of course, fantastic rugby skills all season.

“They dug deep (today) and deservedly came out on top against a fine Leicester side.”

Gracious in defeat, Leicester coach Richard Cockerill said: “We’re disappointed that we lost, obviously, but it was a tight game and there was three points difference.

“We couldn’t have given any more, could we? The boys played their hearts out. It’s been a tough run-in for us.

“No complaints. You accept winning and you have to accept losing.

“Of course, we want to win. I’m not a great loser but you have to be dignified in defeat and that’s us.

“We should be very pleased and proud of our season, because we’re English champions, we’ve lost by three points in the Heineken  Cup final.

“It could have gone either way. They have to take the credit for winning it, because they”ve won it.

“We were fresh, we were into the game – I’m not going to use that as an excuse.”