SHANE HORGAN WAS at the RDS last Saturday on commentary duty for Sky Sports and beheld a gritty win that was far from commonplace when he first slipped on a blue jersey.
The winger made his Leinster debut in 1998 and brought some physicality to the province’s backline. Quality forwards eventually augmented the talented Blues’ backline and the medals mounted up. The winning run — Pro12 and Challenge Cup — continued after his 2012 retirement.
Horgan is eager for Leinster to follow on from their positive start to this season’s Heineken Cup with a home win over Connacht that should see them climb the league standings.
He commented, “We know Connacht is going to be a physical challenge [for Leinster] and if you don’t turn up, you’re going to be embarrassed. That’s what happened last year; they got badly beaten away to Connacht. If you’re not on your game, they will expose you. That tends to focus your mind.
Horgan believes the interpros are an ideal staging ground for players to prove themselves to their club coaches and, ahead of the November internationals, to Joe Schmidt.
Eric Elwood stepped down as Connacht coach five months ago but is still in close contact with the club, and new coach Pat Lam. He was at the Sportsground for the narrow Heineken Cup loss to Saracens but was impressed with the side’s 33 — 6 comeback against Zebre last weekend.
He said, “Going to the RDS against Leinster, who have had two terrific [European] victories themselves, is going to make for a daunting game. It always is but at least Connacht are going there with confidence.
For more on Leinster v Connacht, the November Tests and IRUPA’s past player alumni initiative, check out Horgan and Elwood in the video below.
YouTube credit: IRUPA
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