Despite Leinster’s chances of quarter-final qualification in the European Champions Cup being at an end, Tadhg Furlong still sees plenty to play for in Saturday’s round 5 match against Bath at the RDS.
The chance to chalk up a win against Bath after the defeat in November aside, Tadhg Furlong says the opportunity to win in Europe in front of a home crowd and the competitive nature of the squad will be all the motivation the team will need.
“We’re playing in front of a home crowd at the RDS, which is the last time for the year (in European competition), and we’re looking to give the fans something to cheer about,” insisted the 23-year-old prop.
“There’s personal pride as well. We want to win – no one goes out to lose a game. We’re very much looking forward to it and looking forward to the challenge.”
Since the defeat to Bath, Furlong started the interpro victories at home to Ulster and away to Munster, and in last weekend’s success away to the Ospreys.
Taking into account the games he played, and the improvement in performances against Toulon, the Wexford youngster sees the squad building well as the season goes on.
“Against Toulon home and away we were very close to winning those games, those small margins probably cost us a bit in the end. And even coming through Ulster, Munster, and then the Ospreys at the weekend, I think we’re building, building, building. It’s very, very enjoyable to play rugby for Leinster at the minute.”
The squad may be playing for pride and the opportunity to reward supporters that have turned out in such great numbers for Leinster’s European fixtures so far, home and away, but the long term goal of finishing as high in the GUINNESS PRO12 table as possible is there to be fought for. As well as potential selection for the Ireland Six Nations squad.
For now, though, Furlong says the team have enough to be focused on with Bath visiting the RDS on Saturday afternoon.
“The Six Nations is just only around the corner, but for the time-being there’s enough to worry about with Leinster selection and a big push for competition for places, particularly in the front row, back row, the pack. I think everyone has a very narrow focus towards the Bath game this weekend.
“The PRO12 is the main goal because we’ve something to play for still, but, even saying that, everyone wants to win this weekend.”