If Leinster feel any ill will towards Saracens, then it has been well concealed.
The English club’s points deduction and fine for alleged breaches of the Premiership’s salary cap may have been a domestic issue, but their defeat of Leinster in last season’s Heineken Champions Cup final proves that it was one with international reverberations.
Leo Cullen was adamant last week that the province felt no bitterness about that loss in Newcastle’s St James’ Park last May, regardless of that recent turn of events, and coach Stuart Lancaster has echoed that feeling.
“No, I don’t think we’ve got any complaints about losing the final,” the Englishman said. “It’s funny how the result shapes the narrative sometimes. I was listening to some commentary on the radio on how Saracens dominated Leinster. Well, we were 10-0 up and it was close. On the day, Saracens deserved to win that game.
“If you scrutinise the finances of all the French teams, would they all be under £7m? I don’t think so. There isn’t a salary cap in Europe. My understanding is that Saracens are obviously appealing. We will see how it all plays out.”
The salary cap in the Top 14 is actually €11.3m, but you can see Lancaster’s wider point and there have been instances in recent years of clubs in France being fined for breaches, although Montpellier recently launched a successful challenge against same.
Leinster’s thoughts are now set on this season’s European tilt, which starts for them on Saturday against Benetton at the RDS, and the return of
How many of feature remains to be seen.
All are available aside from Sean Cronin, who is still recuperating from a neck injury he sustained in Japan.
The hooker is scheduled to start back with some light skill work in training for the province this week.