Saturday 16 December 2017

Frustrated Cronin out to give Schmidt selection headache

Leintser's Sean Cronin. Photo: Sportsfile
Leintser's Sean Cronin. Photo: Sportsfile
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

WITH spots in the Pro12 semi-final and a Heineken Cup up for grabs, Sean Cronin isn't about to throw his toys out of his pram, but the Leinster hooker admits that it can be "tough" to watch his fellow team-mates achieve success from the confines of the bench.

Richardt Strauss got the nod against Clermont-Auvergne last Sunday and although Cronin made an impact off the bench, the Limerick native found it frustrating not to be involved.

Joe Schmidt tends to rotate his squad and the 25-year-old Ireland international still has a shot at the starting line-up. And he wants to make an impression in tomorrow's final regular-season clash with the Dragons to force the New Zealander's hand.

"I wouldn't say it takes away from (winning)," he said. "It is tough at times.

"I think it is a big thing that Joe drives and the culture that drives it is that it is about the team and if one or two fellahs step outside that then it is going to break down.


"It is tough to take at times because any professional worth his salt wants to start and I am no different and I think I am of the point of view that any chance that you get, you have to put your best foot forward.

"It is just about trying to do your best whenever you get the chance and giving them the selection headaches and see where you go from there."

He might have had to watch most of it from the bench, but Sunday's win was a timely reminder for Cronin as to just why he signed for Leinster last summer.

While he received plenty of messages from delighted Connacht fans after his former club qualified for Europe on the back of the narrow win, Cronin remains happy where he is, preparing for a Heineken Cup final against Ulster in two weeks' time and fighting for his place.

"When people ask me why did you move and why did you do this you just have to look at, if selected in a few weeks' time for the Heineken Cup final and then the semi-final of a Pro12 and the chance to play in the final of that, that is what it is all about," he said.

"I am delighted. It is a competitive squad but it is a great place to be because people are driving each other on week-in, week-out and it drives you on to be a better player.

"I am just delighted with the move.

"There was a bit of talk before the game from us that to really make a mark and prove ourselves as a team we had to go to France and win."

Irish Independent

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