Jennings demands Leinster 'grow up'
Published 23/11/2012 | 05:00
THE November Internationals aren't yet complete, but Leinster have just 160 minutes of rugby left before their crucial back-to-back clashes with Clermont in the Heineken Cup.
With that in mind, Sean O'Brien's return to the side at No 8 for tonight's trip to Glasgow couldn't be more timely. Throw in Isa Nacewa's recovery from a hand injury and the impending return of Luke Fitzgerald for the visit of Zebre next week and things are starting to look rosy for Leinster.
For Shane Jennings, though, their Pro12 campaign is of more pressing concern. The province lie in sixth, just a point off the play-off places but the flanker is not satisfied with that, even allowing for the injuries they've suffered.
"Last year we were in a similar position where we were using a lot of the squad and we performed better than we have done this year – that's the crux of it," Jennings said.
"We find ourselves in this position in the table because we haven't performed; we haven't played as well or got points at certain venues.
"We have to grow up pretty fast and realise we must do better. If we do that we can be up there at the business end of the season, but we have to do the work now. If we fall too far behind we're not going to get in there."
As expected, the Leinster side is a mix of experience and youth.
The back-row of Kevin McLaughlin, Jennings and O'Brien are all full internationals, while the front-row are understudies to the four hookers and two props away on international duty.
Andrew Goodman is paired with Brendan Macken in the centre for the trip to a Glasgow side who are looking for their seventh consecutive Pro12 win.
Coach Gregor Townsend can call on the likes of Peter Murchie, Tommy Seymour and Alex Dunbar after their international exploits and Jennings is aware of the significance of such a tough encounter.
"For the league itself, we have to sort out our form," he said. "There are about six teams who are going for the top four and one of them is Glasgow.
"If we don't win this weekend then they'll be in an even stronger position. If we can put in a good performance it will benefit us going into the European games, but we need to sort out our league form first."
Glasgow – P Murchie; T Seymour, A Dunbar, P Horne, DTH van der Merwe; R Jackson, S Kennedy; G Reid, P MacArthur, M Cusack; T Swinson, T Ryder; R Harley, C Fusaro (capt), J Strauss Reps: F Gillies, O Fainga'anuku, M Low, J Eddie, R Wilson, G Graham, S Wright, B McGuigan.
Leinster – I Nacewa; D Kearney, B Macken, A Goodman, F Carr; I Madigan, I Boss; J McGrath, A Dundon, J Hagan; L Cullen (capt), Q Roux; K McLaughlin, S Jennings, S O'Brien Reps: T Sexton, J O'Connell, M Moore, D Toner, J Murphy, J Cooney, N Reid, A Conway.
Ref – N Hennessey (WRU).
Glasgow v Leinster,
Live, RTE 2, 7.35