Sport Leinster Rugby

Friday 28 April 2017

Noel Reid happy to stay and fight for place in Leinster plans

Versatile 26-year-old insists he is content despite arrival of Henshaw increasing the level of competition in centre

Few would have blamed Reid if he himself had looked at options elsewhere but the 26-year-old still wants to prove his worth with his home province. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Few would have blamed Reid if he himself had looked at options elsewhere but the 26-year-old still wants to prove his worth with his home province. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Ben Te'o's move from Leinster to Worcester has been so underwhelming that should a modern-day rugby player need proof that the grass is not always greener on the other side, they need look no further than the Australian.

Sure Te'o's wage package is significantly higher than it was in Ireland but he and his Worcester team-mates are embroiled in a relegation battle as they attempt to remain in the Premiership.

Over the festive period, Te'o openly admitted that the move had not worked out as he had planned and his scathing comments about the club as a whole certainly made for fascinating reading.

"I never envisaged being in this survival battle," Te'o said. "I thought this was a club that had come up, would stay up and really kick on. That's what I thought; top eight, top four then grand finals. It's not really been what I thought it would be.

"It's hard to put my finger on it. Leadership from the top down? I don't know which direction the club's going. The standard of players? We probably don't have the quality. Honestly, we've got some good players but we probably need to add. It's not a great place to be but we've got to work hard to get out."

A pretty damning assessment from a player who has barely set foot in the club but one wonders where the ambition with which Te'o now speaks with was when he decided to up and leave for a struggling English side.

During his time with Leinster, Te'o struck up an impressive relationship with Noel Reid - both on and off the field.

Few would have blamed Reid if he himself had looked at options elsewhere, especially after Leinster signed Robbie Henshaw, but the 26-year-old still wants to prove his worth with his home province.

"I suppose so," Reid replied when asked if Te'o's move proved that money doesn't always talk.

"I'm happy playing here, and it's where I want to play, I haven't looked into a move that much to be honest.

"I just think it's a change of environment for him (Te'o). Obviously he's been away with England, they had a lot of success, so it's obviously a bit frustrating going back to a team that's not winning every week, and might not be challenging for a trophy.

"But Ben's an honest guy, he'll work hard for the team, he'll train hard. They'd a good win at the weekend (versus Harlequins) so hopefully they go on a bit of a run now and finish the season strongly."

Leinster invested heavily in helping Te'o make the transition from rugby league and at a time when he was just beginning to show promise, he decided that a move to Worcester would be more beneficial to his career.

Reid remains a regular face in Leo Cullen's side and his versatility certainly counts in his favour but there is a sense that there is still more to come from him.

Henshaw's arrival and the emergence of Garry Ringrose has meant that his path into the starting XV is again blocked but Reid is happy to continue to fight for his place.

"I think nowadays the importance of a good squad is huge," he maintained.

"I see myself as a team player and I want to win trophies with this club. It's the club I've grown up in. 

"Robbie's obviously an Irish international, he's playing well at the moment, I'm just trying to play as well as I can. No one's a certainty for selection, and I see myself as a good option there and Leo and the coaches have faith in me, which they've shown.

"I wouldn't say I'm completely different (to Henshaw). I'm trying to work on parts of my game, and he's trying to work on certain parts of his.

"I think it's good competition and if we keep pushing each other it's good for the club, and hopefully we can win a few trophies together."

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