Thursday 15 November 2018

'I didn't hate them - I admired them' - Felipe Contepomi pays old rival Munster the ultimate compliment

23 April 2006; Felipe Contepomi, Leinster, is tackled by Paul O'Connell, right, and David Wallace, Munster. Heineken Cup 2005-2006, Semi-Final, Leinster v Munster, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Pat Murphy / SPORTSFILE
23 April 2006; Felipe Contepomi, Leinster, is tackled by Paul O'Connell, right, and David Wallace, Munster. Heineken Cup 2005-2006, Semi-Final, Leinster v Munster, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Pat Murphy / SPORTSFILE
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

They were a team who always tried to get under his skin but Felipe Contepomi says that he never hated Munster during his time playing with Leinster.

The Argentine playmaker was a key figure in the glory days of the Leinster vs Munster rivalry during the noughties, taking part in both of the memorable European Cup semi-finals between the teams.

Contepomi enjoyed a famously fiery relationship with both Munster supporters and players but speaking to The Left Wing, Independent.ie's rugby podcast in association with Laya Healthcare, the new Leinster backs coach explained that he actually admired the southern province.

"I didn't hate Munster, to be honest back in those days Munster were the team to admire because of the passion they played with," Contepomi said.

"The players loved to play for their jersey. Everyone says it looked like I hated them but I probably envied them and admired them. It was a great rivalry and when I wore the Leinster jersey, it was all that mattered and Munster were the rival. They weren't an enemy. It's not someone that I hate. We learned a lot from Munster.

"They were reaching finals and that's what we wanted. Now Leinster is the team to admire and look at. You don't have to hate a rival. They were so good that sometimes you envy them. It is a great rivlarly."

Subscribe to The Left Wing, Independent.ie's Rugby podcast in association with Laya Healthcare, with Luke Fitzgerald and Will Slattery for the best discussion and analysis each week. From in depth interviews with some of Irish rugby's biggest stars to unmatched insights into the provinces and the national team, The Left Wing has all your rugby needs covered.

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