herald

Thursday 15 November 2018

Felipe: Johnny would look better in Black

BACK IN BUSINESS: Backs coach Felipe Contepomi (right) during Leinster squad training at Energia Park in Donnybrook. Photo: SPORTSFILE
BACK IN BUSINESS: Backs coach Felipe Contepomi (right) during Leinster squad training at Energia Park in Donnybrook. Photo: SPORTSFILE

The Prodigal Puma Felipe Contepomi has returned to his second home to let everyone know what he thinks of Jonathan Sexton, the Irishman who was his understudy at Leinster a decade ago.

"First of all, we have the best out-half in the world with us," announced the assistant coach, as a response to the worries over Leinster's lack of out-half options.

This statement came just two days after Beauden Barrett set records with his four-try salvo against Australia at Eden Park last Saturday.

When asked to offer a valid argument for rating Sexton over Barrett, Contepomi obliged in typically intelligent form.

"I would say that Johnny and Beauden Barrett, you can pick who you want," said Contepomi.

"But I'd like to see Johnny in a black jersey and see what he can do and then we could compare, you know?

"I think that Johnny has done really well, Ireland is probably the second best in the world nowadays and a lot of that has to do with how Johnny conducts that team.

"It's hard to compare two players when you are behind a team like the All Blacks.

"Beauden Barrett is magnificent," he added. "He has some attributes that Johnny doesn't have and Johnny has some attributes that Beauden doesn't.

"It's take your pick of whatever style of rugby you want to play, They are, at the moment, the best out-halves in the world."

For the moment, Leinster are more concerned with who will start at out-half away to Cardiff Blues in the PRO14 League on Friday night (KO 7.35, eirsport & TG4).

The runway has been cleared for the improving Ross Byrne to launch his season ahead of schedule.

The 23-year-old did not manage to make his Ireland debut in Australia.

It would have been a sore point through the summer, although he is now in place to augment Leinster's backline.

Ciaran Frawley (wrist) is definitely out and Noel Reid (quad) only returns to training this week.

Sadly, flanker Will Connors will be out of the game for an extended period due to an damage done to his anterior cruciate ligament.

New signing Joe Tomane has recovered from injury to put his best foot forward for inclusion.

Better again, Garry Ringrose (foot) and Josh van der Flier (knee) will take part in training this week as they get closer to their return.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News