Leinster won’t be short of motivation

COMPLACENCY simply isn’t in the nature of this Leinster rugby team any more and they have no intentions of taking their foot off the accelerator for today’s Magners League clash with the Glasgow Warriors at the RDS.

Motivation for this match is easily sourced – a win today will ensure a home draw for the Magers League semi-final.

It should be a straight-forward enough assignment too against a Glasgow team who’ve been in pretty wretched form all season, but Leinster centre Eoin O’Malley wasn’t about to count any unhatched chickens.

“We lost to them last season and we lost to them at the start of this season as well,” he cautioned.

“I’ve personally had some bad experiences against them so I’ll be looking forward to this week.

“That’s just one reason to be motivated, the fact that a win on Friday will give us a home semi-final in the Magners is obviously another. It’s a game that we’re all looking forward to.

“It’s a dangerous match because they don’t have a lot to lose and can come here and throw the ball around. They’ve a lot of talented guys and have been unlucky to lose some close matches. We can’t afford to get too complacent.”

O’Malley’s selection at outside centre is one of nine changes Leinster have made to the team that defeated Toulouse in last Saturday’s Heineken Cup semi-final.

It may well be the last match he plays for Leinster this season, so not surprisingly he’s keen to make a big impression today.

“For someone like myself and the other guys who are getting a chance this weekend it’s a big opportunity to add something and keep the momentum going.

“I’m very hungry for a match at the moment. When you see the lads producing a massive performance against Toulouse and you’re not involved in it, it’s a huge motivation for you.

“Obviously things are going in the right direction and you want to add to the team whenever you get an opportunity.

“For everyone involved there’s a lot of motivation because everyone has contributed throughout the year and everyone feels a part of it. Everyone has added to the thing when they’ve come in, and that’s why it’s such a tight squad at the moment.”

O’Malley has made considerable progress this season. He’s been involved in 19 matches and caught the eye in almost every single one of them.

He’d be a first choice player for almost every other team in the Magners League but when you’re competing for a jersey with Brian O’Driscoll then opportunities to impress are always going to be limited.

“I’ve really enjoyed my last couple of years with Leinster,” he said.

“I had difficulties with injuries and that for while, but since then I’ve really enjoyed myself.

“Leinster is a great place to be. There aren’t too many other clubs in Europe who are looking to win two trophies at this stage in the season, so I have no regrets.

“Hopefully, I can be a part of something like that because it would be something pretty special.”

LEINSTER: I Nacewa; S Horgan, E O’Malley, G D’Arcy, F McFadden; I Madigan, I Boss; J McGrath, R Strauss, S Wright; K McLaughlin, D Toner; D Ryan, S Jennings, J Heaslip.

Replacements: A Dundon, C Healy, M Ross, N Hines, R Ruddock, P O’Donohoe, I McKinley, D Kearney.

GLASGOW: P Murchie; F Aramburu, M Bennett, G Morrison (c), D van der Merwe; D Weir, C Cusiter; R Grant, F Thomson, M Low; A Muldowney, T Ryder; J Eddie, R Vernon, J Beattie.

Replacement: D Hall, J Welsh, K Tkachuk, R Harley, C Fusaro, C Gregor, R Jackson, P Horne.

Picture: SMILING ASSASSIN: Eoin O’Malley hasn’t had an easy time establishing himself at Leinster with Brian O’Driscoll blocking his path, but he nonetheless says he’s enjoying his time with the province. Picture: Inpho/Lorraine O’Sullivan

More in this section


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox