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Boss back on Reddan alert

LEINSTER coach Joe Schmidt will have to decide between the hard-hitting of Isaac Boss and the high-tempo of Eoin Reddan when Glasgow come to town in the Heineken Cup on Sunday.

Of course, it is not as simple or as accurate as that. Both men bring more than one aspect to the number nine jersey. They are one half comrades, one half competitors.

Maybe, just maybe, the pain of injury just might make the difference in Schmidt's thought process. Reddan has been impeded by a leg injury in the first half of the week in what amounts to a race against the clock.

"Round Two is getting further into the competition. Glasgow are top. If we get a win here, it is almost like double the points because we will also deprive them," said Boss.

Schmidt has shown a tendency to use the New Zealander for some of the meatier challenges on the road in Europe, like away to Clermont-Auvergne and Racing Metro last season and Montpellier last Saturday.

"Jeez, I hope it's not that simple. It seems to be an ongoing battle with myself and Redser," said Boss. "We have our own bit of banter about it. We both want to start every week, like every professional player.


"Hopefully, I am involved this week and, hopefully, he's not. We'll have to wait and see. Everyone has something to offer. I just have to offer more to the club."

Schmidt started Reddan in seven of the nine matches in the Heineken Cup last year, including the last three against the gargantuan packs of Leicester Tigers, Toulouse and Northampton Saints.

Perhaps, the combination of Reddan gingerly recovering from a leg injury and the gusto Boss showed at Stade de la Mosson might enable the latter to turn the tables and make his first home start in the Heineken Cup since his transfer from Ulster last year.

Either way, Boss has risen from journeyman professional to revel in the glory as a Heineken Cup winner and a valued member of Ireland's World Cup squad.

After the tournament, he returned to Leinster looking for match sharpness, while others sought the sanctuary of a comforting environment in which to rebuild confidence. Jonathan Sexton was one of those.

Flawless form in two Magners League matches and that match-saving penalty away to Montpellier have confirmed Leinster's fly-half as a front-runner for the 2013 British & Irish Lions' tour to Australia.

"It is a great example to set for all the boys. When it was needed, he stepped up and delivered," said Boss.

"If it wasn't for him with that last kick, we would have been coming home with a different story without the two points. That's what he brings to the team. It was critical.

"What you want from your 10 is to always know where he is and that he wants to be in control of the game. He is never found wanting in that aspect. You know exactly what he wants."

And Isaac just wants to be the 'Boss' in his own house on Sunday.