Wednesday 26 July 2017

Boss echoes Schmidt call for players to up game for Aviva clash

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Isaac Boss says Leinster are looking for redemption after their disastrous start to the season.

The New Zealand-born Ireland international is not worried that it is arch-rivals Munster who visit the Aviva Stadium this Saturday, he just wants to win a match, after the province slipped to their third defeat in four games last Friday.

Boss has been in and out of the starting line-up since joining from Ulster in June and was introduced as a second-half substitute at Murrayfield, as Leinster slumped to a heavy defeat to Edinburgh last weekend. He is hoping to have done enough to start on Saturday and echoed coach Joe Schmidt's calls for the players to step up to the plate defensively.

Having held a frank team meeting on Monday morning, Boss reckons the players are ready to bounce back.

"I think the boys are just looking forward to having any match to try and redeem ourselves," he said.

"Getting a home match as well -- we've had three away trips so far -- is important. There are a few different factors there but we're all hurting from the last few weeks.


"I'm looking forward to it. We look forward to every match, but especially as the last few weeks haven't gone the best for us. It's a chance for us to redeem ourselves, especially against Munster. If you can't get up for these ones, you can't get up for any of them.

"We definitely have to rebound. The guys are probably more harsh on themselves and that's the good thing about the squad at the moment -- we take things a lot harder than other people can say.

"So I think it's more about worrying about ourselves, tightening up our defence and stuff like that. As individuals, we've got to look after our own shop first and hopefully that will put our team in good stead."

Boss's mission this week is to supplant Eoin Reddan, who has started the last three games at scrum-half, and he is confident in his own abilities to do so. He also believes the fact that the game is at a location the players know well will neutralise Munster's fine recent away form.

"Hopefully I am starting, I've just been trying to push hard these last few weeks," he said.

"Hopefully I'm in the 22 to start with, I won't take anything like that for granted and we'll go from there.

"It's the first match in the Aviva and that neutralises it a wee bit for them. It gives them something to look forward to, same as us, so we're all on the same footing. Everyone's looking forward to playing the first match."

Irish Independent

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