Wednesday 18 October 2017

Boss looking forward to catching up with familiar Ulster faces

David Kelly

David Kelly

Isaac Boss will be hoping to have a significant reunion with old friends on the horizon in New Zealand this summer.

But that was the last thing on his mind yesterday, even as he made his way to Carton House for the one-day Irish camp casting an eye ahead to this summer's daunting three-Test tour to the world champions New Zealand.

For before all that, he also faces the prospect of getting together with even more familiar mates at his former club Ulster in this month's Twickenham final.

"It's going to be a special occasion for me," says Boss, who more than justified Joe Schmidt's surprise decision to start him in Sunday's Clermont cliffhanger.

"I'm chuffed for my old team. They've worked hard. It's great to have two Irish teams in the final and I'm sure it's going to be a great day in Twickenham.

"I saw the emotion on all the Ulster boys' faces on Saturday after their match. That's going to bring something into it. But we haven't had a chance to think about that yet. We have to regroup after this one before we even start contemplating Ulster. And then we have another couple of weeks' matches to get through as well.

"We're fighting for the league as well and that's important to us as a group. There's a lot of rugby to be played. None of our teams will look far ahead and we'll focus on performing week in, week out, because we all want to make that final team.

desperately

"I was in touch with a few of them during the week, especially with Chris Henry, because I know how desperately he wanted to be a part of what happened on Saturday.

"I'm good mates with a few of them. They've come a long way in this competition. They had a tough pool as well and to get to the final from there is a good effort by them. We'll keep in touch with them in the next few weeks and I'm sure there'll be a bit of banter going on amongst us all.

"We all watched it in the hotel last night, but we'll try to break it down a bit more and see where we can beat them. I suppose their game could have gone either way really. Ruan Pienaar was tremendous for them and so were their forwards."

Clermont winger Julien Malzieu has declared that his side lost out to the "reigning champions of Europe and, I think, the European champions this year," while Wesley Fofana bemoaned his failure to touch down for what would have been a winning try.

"I crossed the line, but I did not control the ball well. I actually felt that I touched down before releasing the ball. That's why I jumped for joy. I thought I rescued it and that we put an end to Leinster. It came down to a few centimetres."

Irish Independent

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