Noel Reid happy with competitive battle for Leinster places

Ben Te’o gave a man of the match performance in Worcester’s win over Harlequins last weekend, but his biggest impact this season so far came in a newspaper interview.

Noel Reid happy with competitive battle for Leinster places

The week before, the former Leinster centre hit out at his club’s management before questioning the quality of his team-mates. Although the New Zealand-born England international – who flirted with an Ireland cap – is being paid a reported €425,000+ a year, he’s not a happy bunny.

Victory over Quins was just the side’s second of the season, leaving them four points above the Aviva Premiership’s bottom placed side, Bristol, with half the season gone.

“I never envisaged being in this survival battle. I thought this was a club that had come up, would stay up and really kick on,” Te’o said last week. “I thought; top eight, top four then grand finals. It’s not really been what I thought it would be. I don’t know which direction the club’s going. The standard of players? We probably don’t have the quality. Honestly, we’ve got some good players but we probably need to add.”

Noel Reid, a former team-mate of Te’o’s during his two seasons at Leinster, watched the weekend’s game and heard Te’o’s comments.

To him, it was just another indication that the grass is not always greener on the [artificial] pitch.

“I just think it’s a change of environment for him,” said Reid. “Every club he’s been in has been competing for silverware, so it’s just about trying to get used to that. Obviously he’s been away with England too, they had a lot of success, so it’s obviously a bit frustrating going back to a team that’s not winning every week, and might not be challenging for a trophy.

“But Ben’s an honest guy, he’ll work hard for the team, he’ll train hard, he’ll work hard. They’d a good win at the weekend so hopefully they go on a bit of a run now and finish the season strongly.”

Reid, who was behind Te’o in the fight for a starting position last season, agreed Teo’s experience might mean staying put is a safer option.

“I suppose so. I’m happy playing here, and it’s where I want to play, I haven’t looked into a move that much to be honest,” he said.

If he did, it would be difficult to argue with him.

Reid, who can play at out-half and centre, has played 14 times this season, but is frequently overlooked for the club’s bigger games.

Leinster moved quickly to recruit Robbie Henshaw from Connacht once Te’o’s move was confirmed, and the 23-year-old has slotted in seamlessly alongside 21-year-old centre Garry Ringrose – a pairing already being spoken of as a long term one for club and country. Reid could have called his agent once Henshaw’s arrival was confirmed, but the 26-year-old was not put off by the summer recruit.

“I think nowadays the importance of a good squad is huge,” he said. “I see myself as a team player and I want to win trophies with this club. It’s a club I’ve grown up in.

“Robbie’s obviously an Irish international, he’s playing well at the moment, and I’m just trying to play as well as I can. No-one’s a certainty for selection, and I see myself as a good option there and Leo and the coaches have faith in me, which they’ve shown. I think I’ve played 14 games already this season, so I’m just going to put my hand up as much as I can, and see what happens.

“I think it’s good competition and if we keep pushing each other it’s good for the club, and hopefully we can win a few trophies together.”

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