Thursday 14 December 2017

Leinster must perform or risk Munster hammering, warns Fogarty

 

Leinster scrum coach John Fogarty during a press conference at Leinster Rugby Headquarters, in Dublin. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Leinster scrum coach John Fogarty during a press conference at Leinster Rugby Headquarters, in Dublin. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Leinster scrum coach John Fogarty has warned his charges that anything less than their best will not suffice against Munster at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

The former hooker, who represented both provinces during his playing career, insisted the rivalry remains as important as ever despite its use as a stepping stone from run-of-the-mill Guinness PRO14 action to the white heat of the Champions Cup which kicks off next week.

Leinster underperformed against Edinburgh last Friday night and have limited time to build cohesion ahead of their pool clashes against Montpellier and Glasgow Warriors later this month.

Leo Cullen is set to welcome Robbie Henshaw back to their midfield for the clash, while a host of players who were rested for last weekend's win have returned to the squad.

Surpassed

Ticket sales have surpassed 42,000 and Fogarty said the team must not lose sight of the derby fixture or risk a heavy defeat.

"For our supporters, for ourselves as a group, for our families, it's so important," Fogarty said of Saturday's game.

"This fixture still holds a special place in the hearts and minds of all of the players.

"They want to be picked to play in this game, they want to be in the Aviva and be part of it,.

"It's a f***ing very special day.

"We watched back some clips from last year and you're sitting there going: 'I can't wait for this game'.

"If we're thinking, 'Be fit for Europe' or if the boys are thinking, 'I need to be fit for Europe so I get picked for Ireland', your eye is off the ball and if your eye is off the ball in a Munster-Leinster game you're going to get your f***ing hole handed to you."

Leinster confirmed they will be without James Ryan for the game, while there was no update on Jamie Heaslip's back problem.

Munster, meanwhile, will be without centre Jaco Taute for around six months after they confirmed he would need knee surgery.

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