Tuesday 23 May 2017

Now we must kick on in push for double - Reddan

Eoin Reddan. Photo: Matt Browne / Sportsfile
Eoin Reddan. Photo: Matt Browne / Sportsfile
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Eoin Reddan is getting a familiar feeling around the Leinster camp these days, one he first experienced when he was at Wasps.

Although he acknowledged that Joe Schmidt's men were operating at a high level on Saturday at the Aviva Stadium, the Limerick native's experience in London has steeled him against getting carried away with spring form. Summer is when the medals are handed out.

And he sees the same matter-of-fact reality when he looks around the dressing-room at Donnybrook.

His four-season stint at Wasps has become a reference point for how he feels his current club are progressing.

They may be a shadow of their former selves now, but when Reddan wore the famous black and gold jersey, Wasps were a major European power.

He scored a try as Wasps beat Leicester to win the Heineken Cup in 2007, and under Shaun Edwards and Ian McGeechan he worked on his game to the point where he was called in to arrest Ireland's slide during that year's World Cup.

He has been swapping the No 9 jersey with Isaac Boss at Leinster this season, but he got the nod against Leicester last weekend and played his part as the Blues powered into the Heineken Cup semi-final. And Reddan (left) sees a familiar glint in the eyes of his team-mates.

"I've been thinking about this," he said. "There is a good confidence there in attack and defence. But the thought that I settled on was that it's only April.

"May is when trophies are picked up and the form needs to be proven right up to the final. The mood in the dressing-room is good; you feel it's a job well done but that's all it is at the moment.

"I like that, there's a good feeling at the moment. At Wasps we had that, we won a lot of trophies and there was never any kind of getting ahead of ourselves and last year when I came to Leinster there was plenty of that too.

"It's because of the experience we have in the team. There are a lot of players in there with a lot of medals in different competitions, whether it be at international or club level, and there's a lot of knowing where you need to be and that is going to be very important."

It's back to the Magners League grindstone after the highs of the Heineken Cup, but while it might seem like a comedown, Reddan says he and his team-mates just want to keep winning.

Two trophies are the aim for Schmidt's charges this season, and a win over Ulster on Saturday would move them closer to the league semi-finals.

"Everybody's pulling in the one direction and we're looking to get Leinster over the line in two competitions and that's not going to be easy but it's certainly a massive ambition of ours.

"You feel like the bit's between your teeth after a game like (Leicester). The confidence and the buzz is high and you want to get back out there and follow on.

"In the squad there is a lot of guys who have been successful and to continue to be successful, some people just have the bite to carry on. That's definitely within the squad and we will be looking to kick on again on Saturday."

Irish Independent

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