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Ex-Red Reddan relishes 'edge' of derby

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Ireland and Leinster scrum-half Eoin Reddan. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

Ireland and Leinster scrum-half Eoin Reddan. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

Ireland and Leinster scrum-half Eoin Reddan. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

EOIN REDDAN isn't the type to hold on to the past. But, he will use it when necessary.

When Munster didn't show the Limerick man enough love in 2005, he departed his home province for life at London Wasps. It worked out well. There was a Heineken Cup in 2007 and an English Premiership in 2008.

Still, it left a scar that Reddan still turns to when Leinster – he joined in 2009 – come into direct conflict with Munster. He doesn't need to use Rob Penney's bullets as ammunition to fire back.

"It's a huge game always. There is always a different angle in the media about it. Sometimes teams take different angles and this year is no different," said the 33-year-old as he closes in on a two-year contract extension.

"From a player point of view, I don't know if anything outside can add to the occasion. You know these lads inside-out. You know it is a real marker for where you're at as a player and as a team.

"At the bones of it, it's a Munster-Leinster game. That's enough. There are a few lads on our team who left Munster a few years ago. We didn't make it there.

"That adds to it for us – myself, Seán Cronin, Mike Ross. I suppose there is that to it too. For this week, you do feel that little of an edge."

There is a chance that it can become all-consuming. But, Reddan has been at this game for too long: "It's a help as long as you manage it properly.

"I am not going out there trying to take anyone's head off. It is enjoyable. It adds to it. It is a little personal thing that no one else probably realises or thinks about. It gives you a boost for the game. That's it.

DESTINY

"Once the first whistle goes, it's probably gone. But, leading into it, you might pack your bag a little earlier the night before, you might get into bed a bit earlier. It is definitely a help, certainly not a hindrance."

Everything has worked out for the best for Reddan, two Heineken Cups (2011 & 2012), one Challenge Cup (2013) and one PRO12 League title (2013) later.

It would seem that destiny had a hand in his career, England's Matt Dawson moving aside for Reddan at Wasps, Chris Whitaker on the point of retiring at Leinster.

He came to Dublin at a time when Leinster were coming into their own in Europe and starting to win more than they lost against Munster. The 'old pro' won't let that show.

"Right now, they won the last game pretty convincingly," he said, in reference to the 19-15 defeat to Munster at Thomond Park last October.

"They were more combative. They physically dominated us in that game. Right now, I would probably say that we're not the dominant one."


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