“If Isa Was Irish”

Isa Nacewa has been selected to play his 100th game for Leinster tomorrow in the Pro12 semi-final against Glasgow.

The story goes a little bit like this: “If Isaย Nacewaย had never been called off the bench for the last two minutes of a game by Fiji back in the 2003 Rugby World Cup as a 21 year old, he’d be an Irish international by now.”ย  Continue reading

Leinster’s New Contracts

Leinster announced a huge number of contract extensions together, neatly defusing inspection of new recruits (Denton and Bent) and camouflaging some other calls which might have got more attention in the media were they announced piecemeal.

In the wake of their Heineken Cup semi-final win in Bordeaux against Clermont Auvergne, Leinster have released a statement detailing a whole raft of contract renewals and a few new signings. Continue reading

HEC Semi-final Preview: Clermont vs Leinster

Heaslip dots down under the sticks in the 2010 quarter-final classic. Given that it's only a couple of weeks more than two years later, the two teams are dominated by the same players who took the field in that stormer of a game. That night it was Leinster who hung on by the slenderest of margins, even given home field advantage ... will it go the other way this time around?

The Clermont Auvergne vs Leinster semi-final pits two of the best teams to grace European competition in the last five years against each other in a winner-takes-all match. As Shane Horgan said on Sky Sports’ The Rugby Club last night, “This is a Heineken Cup semi-final. You don’t get anything for finishing within seven points.” Continue reading

Match Reaction: Leinster 42 – 8 Treviso

Nacewa collides with Brendan Williams, Treviso's creative spark - all the honours went to the Leinster man on the night, however.

A bunch of early tries generally leave people feeling that the game was over at half time or that it petered out; a bunch of late tries sends the people home happy. Continue reading

The Team That Never Travelled: Part Nine, Fullback

The Mole: arch-conservative or reactionary? Both, probably โ€“ even though it’s a long-accepted fact that all reactionaries are paper tigers. The case in point? Fullback. The Mole’s take is that it’s a specific position which requires different talents and a wholly different skillset than a winger. Not a fan of the interchangeable back three. Not at all. I’ve seen Ugo Monye play in the No15 jersey. Continue reading