Friday 18 August 2017

Luke Fitzgerald takes issue with Neil Francis' assertion that Leinster are 'caught up in their own celebrity'

Leinster players, from left, Hayden Triggs, Robbie Henshaw and Ross Molony appear dejected after the defeat to the Scarlets
Leinster players, from left, Hayden Triggs, Robbie Henshaw and Ross Molony appear dejected after the defeat to the Scarlets
It was a mixed weekend for the Irish provinces
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Luke Fitzgerald has defended the Leinster players after they were accused of being more concerned with 'celebrity' than winning trophies by former Irish international Neil Francis after their tame Guinness PRO12 semi-final defeat to the Scarlets.

Writing in his column in yesterday's Sunday Independent, Francis described the Leinster's semi-final loss, the first for a home side in the history of the competition, as "simply disgraceful".

But it was a line towards the end of the piece that caught Fitzgerald's attention.

"It also seems to me that Leinster have got caught up in their own celebrity — wives and girlfriends, girlfriends and wives, who is dating who, who is wearing what — when the most obvious question is who is winning what?," he wrote.

Fitzgerald, speaking on today's episode of The Left Wing, described the comments as 'odd' and defended to commitment and focus of the Leinster players.

"It's one of the oddest articles I've read and I actually find him really funny. Some of Franno's articles are really, really good," he said.

"He probably wouldn't be one of the most popular figures in the Leinster set-up because he can be very critical at times.

"That was really odd to me, I'm not sure what relevance it has. I just thought it was very weird.

"A lot of those guys are really, really focused.

"They'll be hurting badly after having a really good season. I think it was an anomaly of a performance and I think some of the selections might have had an impact."

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