Tuesday 23 July 2019

In-form Leinster star not sure if IRFU will allow him extend his contract

Zane Kirchner. Picture credit: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Zane Kirchner. Picture credit: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
David Kelly

David Kelly

The US presidency hasn't always suffocated beneath the weight of the excessive eloquence besmirching the current ignoble race for that office.

The country's 30th president, Calvin Coolidge, was rather more reserved; there is a story that he was once challenged with a bet to test his renowned reticence.

"I bet I can get you to say more than two words," he was goaded. "You lose," came the laconic reply.

As the Simpsons, by truncating Shakespeare, reminded us all, brevity is wit. If so, Zane Kirchner is the funniest man in rugby.

Few really care; the South African is in arguably the form of his Leinster career the closer he moves towards the end of it.

A story allegedly linking him to vast financial deprivation in a sordid Afrikaans' Sunday paper may not help his mood.

His performances have been much more eloquent; there were times when it seemed as if Kirchner and Leinster seemed to be a marriage devoid of lust.

Read more: Zebo and O'Mahony in line for return

As the team begin to play rugby that might lift a spectator from their seat instead of sending them to sleep, so too has Kirchner's passion returned.

"For where we started, as a team, and individually, I think there's lots of improvement," says the 32-year-old who, to this observer's eyes, seems to be relishing the renewed attacking focus after being re-aligned at full-back.

"I think it's important as a professional, and as a team, to try and get better each week and in Friday's Ospreys win, we definitely stepped up from previous games we played.

"Going forward, I think it's putting a full 80-minute performance together, that's the next step. Everybody has all the internationals available for competition at the beginning of the season.

"So I think it's quite important if you want to win as much games as you can, at the end of the day when the internationals start you want to be up there in the top four, so that's quite important.

"I'm trying to get better every week, hopefully that can happen.

"We're trying to create a bit of enjoyment, which is always something to feed off from each other; as long as that is there, the more positive vibes, that's good to feed on."

Read more: Payne revels in helping to call shots as Ulster set hot early pace

The positive vibes are electrifying on the field but it is unsure whether he remains as electrified off it; his family are well settled - "once it is warm," he smiles.

Whether he will stay, particularly given the IRFU's reluctance to allow Ulster to extend Ruan Pienaar's contract, remains uncertain.

"At the moment, I'm not 100pc sure of the interferences you're talking about. Personally, it's not something I'm thinking about or even brainstormed about. It's just rugby at the moment."

But he does conclude on an upward note. "Yeah, I wouldn't mind staying.

Irish Independent

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