WHEN NIALL MORRIS dived over in the corner against Ospreys last Sunday, many of his former Leinster teammates must have been fuming.
The winger dived over for a late try against Ospreys, his fourth of the season, on but Leinster and Munster fans were relieved when the Welsh side struck back to level matters.
Another set of crucial Heineken Cup games are tabled for decision this weekend but Morris insists he will not lose any sleep if his Leicester Tigers team pip Leinster to the quarter-final post.
The Tigers are the second-last team to play on this decisive Heineken Cup weekend and will know what exactly is requirred of them when they take to the field against Toulouse at Welford Road on Sunday afternoon [4pm].
“The fixtures really work out in our favour,” Morris told TheScore.ie. “We have a shot of going through and though the draw [against Ospreys] wasn’t what we wanted last week, it has not changed much. We still need to win against Toulouse.
“It is quite difficult playing on the Sunday as another seven or eight games come before you. It is tough not to follow them and get dragged into it.”
The Dubliner spent two years with the Leinster — scoring three tries in eight appearances — before moving to England and immersing himself in Premiership life. He has taken up each position in the Leicester back three this season but, in the past two months, has held down a regular spot on the right wing.
Leinster and Munster supporters will be watching events at Welford Road closely on Sunday, especially if the provinces finish on 19 points. He said:
My priority is to get the win with Leicester and go through. If that happens, I’ll be happy. I wouldn’t mind who’s place we take.
“Obviously, if ourselves and Leinster were both to go through that would be great. If they were to make it into the quarters, especially from where they’ve came from with the bad start, it would be fantastic.”
There were not many surprises in the extended 39-man Ireland squad announced for the Six Nations and Wolfhounds but Morris’ form must have merited a scouting trip to the English Midlands.
“As far as I know,” said Morris, “no-one from Ireland has been over to watch me play. I’d love to play for Ireland or the A team in the future but, for now, I’m fully focused on holding my spot down in the Leicester team.”
Ireland coach Declan Kidney noted, on Thursday, that he could not call up English-based players for training camps outside the Test-match window but Morris may have to wait until the North American tour in the summer to get his chance at international level.
On Sunday, the versatile back, who has signed a contract extension with the Tigers until 2015, must cope with a Toulouse back three that should contain Yoann Huget, Clement Poitrenaud and Vincent Clerc. He commented:
That was the back three that they had when we played them in France. They were fantastic that day and don’t need to be asked twice to put you to the sword.”
Before he made the breakthrough to the Leinster academy, Morris, in 2007, was another Irish rugby supporter that tuned in to Ireland’s Six Nations opener against France at Croke Park.
He said, “I was watching the game at home and was absolutely gutted when Clerc scored that try in the last minute. He is still a quality player and seems to score just about every week that he plays.”