Sport Leinster Rugby

Thursday 14 December 2017

'A lot of people say these guys are in the social pages a lot' - Neil Francis on Leinster 'celebrity' criticism

19 May 2017; Leinster players following the Guinness PRO12 Semi-Final match between Leinster and Scarlets at the RDS Arena in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
19 May 2017; Leinster players following the Guinness PRO12 Semi-Final match between Leinster and Scarlets at the RDS Arena in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Neil Francis has questioned whether some Leinster players are too concerned with 'celebrity' after last Friday's shock PRO 12 semi-final defeat to the Scarlets.

Leo Cullen's men entered the game as tournament favourites but were turned over by a brilliant Scarlets performance, and writing in the Sunday Independent after the game, Francis claimed that some players were 'caught up in their own celebrity'.

"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?," Francis wrote.

Former Leinster star Luke Fitzgerald disagreed with Francis' assertion on this week's episode of The Left Wing, but the rugby pundit elaborated on his comments on The Last Word with Matt Cooper yesterday on Today FM.

"One of things, and I got criticised for it as well, is that they are probably caught up a little bit in their own celebrity," Francis said.

"They had an awards ceremony three weeks ago and every time a lot of people sort of say 'these guys are in the social pages a lot'."

Cooper then countered by saying that Munster had an awards ceremony also, but that didn't sway Francis.

"They probably did but I didn't hear about it and the Leinster players seem to be more in the greater social domain," Francis said.

"They haven't won anything since the 2013 season and you just get caught up in it. You've got to ask yourself the question: what are we here for? We're here to win championships and here to win major games and Leinster have failed at that and they have to look at themselves."

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