Not everyone had faith that Leinster were capable of overcoming the challenge of Toulouse in Dublin and yet the European champions rose to the challenge on Easter Sunday to dispel all doubts and tee up a Heineken Champions Cup final to savour against Saracens.
It’s been all but lost amid the tidal wave of more significant events since, but it’s worth remembering that Jonathan Sexton’s first appearance on a rugby field after he picked up the gong for world player of the year in Monte Carlo at the back end of November ended with him limping to the sidelines with a grimace.
Every position in the back line has been filled by Leinster’s Isa Nacewa, including scrum-half where he excelled in one game last season when Luke McGrath was sinbinned. The veteran New Zealander even scored a try while holding that fort, writes
Jerry Flannery was a member of the Irish team which completed the Six Nations Grand Slam in 2009. An outstanding hooker who helped Munster to win the Heineken Cup in 2006 and 2008, he represented Ireland on 41 occasions. Ahead of Ireland’s bid for more Grand Slam glory on Saturday he spoke to
It’s less than a decade since Declan Kidney’s Irish team secured that famous Grand Slam but it may as well be a page ripped out of an ancient history textbook as Joe Schmidt’s current generation of players go about writing their own chapters.
o they’re supposed to give up now. Just like any sensible group of Irish sportspeople should. They failed so they’re failures and would be better of failing to even try again, the nation’s sages in their self-appointed wisdom chortling Cleese that haven’t you forgotten, it’s the hope, not the despair, that kills you, old boy.