Sunday 25 August 2019

John Fogarty: Jack McGrath and Seán Cronin will bounce back for Leinster


Leinster's Jack McGrath. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Leinster's Jack McGrath. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Leinster scrum coach John Fogarty is backing Jack McGrath and Seán Cronin to bounce back from their Ireland disappointment.

Both front-rows experienced frustration during the November internationals, with McGrath a shock omission from the match-day panels for the big games against South Africa and Argentina and Cronin left out of Joe Schmidt's squad altogether.

They both face a battle to reclaim their spots. A resurgent Cian Healy and in-form Dave Kilcoyne were preferred to McGrath for the first and third games of the window, while captain Rory Best, Rob Herring and James Tracy got the nod ahead of Cronin.

"It creates an edge," Fogarty said. "Certainly in their minds, an extra edge because they're going to want to be successful.

"When they get left out, being the competitors they are, there's going to be another edge to them because they want to prove their worth every time they play and those two players feel there's more in them and they'll go to work.

"Seán has been excellent, unbelievably good over the last couple of weeks. He showed an initial bit of disappointment not to be in that camp, but Christ he has worked really hard to improve every part of his game.

"You can see him doing extra bits after sessions. He's showing that edge midweek which is where you want players to be showing it.

"Jack is going to follow the same route. He is disappointed that he has not had more time for Ireland but he is very clear what he needs to do before the Six Nations. I certainly don't think Jack is in a big slump."

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