Thursday 19 September 2019

Leo Cullen says Leinster might have to send minders out with players following Sean O'Brien pub controversy

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen and Sean O'Brien
Leinster head coach Leo Cullen and Sean O'Brien
Brendan Fanning

Brendan Fanning

Leinster coach Leo Cullen has intimated that future squad nights out will include some level of chaperoning to avoid similar incidents to those that blighted their end of season celebrations three months ago.

In the wake of the Guinness Pro14 success, a Leinster Academy player needed hospital treatment having been knocked out by former player Stan Wright.

That was followed the next day by Seán O'Brien urinating on a member of the public in a Dublin bar, an incident for which he was reprimanded by the IRFU. "It was an unusual end to the season, the fact we had this big dinner thing," Cullen said today in Donnybrook, after watching a pre-season friendly against Coventry at Energia Park, which Leinster won at a canter, running in seven tries in a 47-17 victory.

"The players had a night out at the end of the season as well prior to that. We played the Pro14 final and then on the Sunday another incident takes place.

"We could probably be better as well in setting them up with having someone that's there keeping an eye on them so to speak."

Cullen added: "It's important that players are allowed to go out and they want to be able to celebrate but you need to be able to . . . they're being judged slightly different to the rest of the general public, and that's the way it is.

"We need to understand that we have more of a responsibility to act in a certain way when we're out together. We've talked to the players already and, as I said, some of that falls back on the club and how we handle certain situations as well. I think you've a fair idea what I'm talking about without getting into the specifics of it.

"It's definitely something we want to learn from so it doesn't happen again. For us as a whole, all of us, the players and staff, we have a responsibility to uphold ourselves to the highest possible standards."

International Rugby Newsletter

Rugby insights and commentary from our renowned journalists like Neil Francis, Will Slattery, Alan Quinlan & Cian Tracey.

Online Editors

The Left Wing: Ireland's fullback dilemma, World Cup bonding and the squad standby list

Also in Sport