Thursday 19 October 2017

McGrath not dwelling on Clermont defeat

Leinster's Jack McGrath makes his way to squad training. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Leinster's Jack McGrath makes his way to squad training. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Jack McGrath has urged his Leinster team-mates not to dwell on their bitterly disappointing defeat to Clermont but has insisted that they must learn lessons from it.

The loosehead prop admitted that the loss in Lyon was "heartbreaking" as a largely young Leinster team look to create their own history but they will have to wait another year to do so.

Glasgow arrive in Dublin this evening, which has meant that the focus has had to quickly shift back to the Guinness PRO12 and McGrath insists that it is a good distraction.

"It's a learning curve for us," McGrath said. "It's something that we have to forget about very quickly. Unfortunately it's hard but you take 24 hours to digest it.

"It's such a short week, Glasgow on Friday - the season goes on. That's our mentality.

"I was hovering around the squad when they won the last time. I haven't won a Heineken Cup or a Champions Cup. It's heartbreaking for me, that loss at the weekend.

"There are a lot of young guys who will learn from that and thrive in those situations when we come to it. But this season is not over. It's only going to stand to us going forward.

"But I think a lot of the young guys are quite confident. Hopefully it doesn't happen three or four times that we're in that situation and we lose. Your career is so short that you don't get that many opportunities to be in those situations. So any time you're there, you have to grab it.

"Next time will be our opportunity to grab it and I don't think it will be our last time in the semi-final. Those disappointments give us a hunger to drive on further."

Last Sunday capped a roller-coaster week for McGrath, who on Wednesday was named in the Lions squad, but come Thursday morning, he had already put it to the side.

The 27-year old is fully deserving of his place on the plane to New Zealand and he admitted that he was a "massive honour".

Strange

"It's a strange one, it's in the middle of the week of the biggest game of the year," he added.

"It was probably the night before and the day of, it was a little bit distracting.

"When your name is called, it's a massive weight off because you never know what way it's going to go. It's massive honour but from Wednesday onwards it was parked.

"I celebrated with the family on Wednesday evening and then I was back to work on Thursday. That's the way it had to be.

"There is a lot of rugby to be played from now until that tour. It's nice to be selected but you still have to get on that plane."

Irish Independent

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