Jonathan Sexton couldn’t resist. Confined to the stands for the afternoon last Saturday with a bad hammy, he was joined for a 10-minute spell by Luke McGrath after the scrum-half had illegally dragged down a maul and got himself sent to the bold step.
Despite being short 17 players following World Cup squad announcements, Leo Cullen is able to call on plenty of experience for his opening Guinness Pro12 encounter as head coach of Leinster against Edinburgh in Meggetland tonight (7.35pm).
Connacht scrum-half Kieran Marmion could hardly be blamed for feeling more than a little aggrieved last week when he was released back to Connacht by Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt without having had a reasonable chance to press his claims for a place in Ireland’s World Cup squad.
“Business as usual” was the message yesterday as Matt O’Connor and Jamie Heaslip discussed Leinster’s Guinness PRO12 meeting with Benetton Treviso tonight, but the reality is that no-one can recall when the balance sheet looked so grim.
With that tantalising World Cup clash between Ireland and France cemented in the back of my mind, I couldn’t help but watch the respective performances of Clermont Auvergne and Leinster over the weekend in the context of that crucial Pool D encounter.