Monday 18 December 2017

Jennings demands players stand up for Leinster

Shane Jennings
Shane Jennings

When the Leinster and Glasgow selections came out yesterday, it served to illustrate how the champions are hanging on to their crown by a thread.

The sands of time are running out for Matt O'Connor's men ahead of what could be a make-or-break confrontation at The RDS tonight (KO7 .35, Live TG4).

The leaders have come as locked and as loaded as they can, aside from the usual assortment of injuries, while Leinster have been denied their go-to men.

Their position, back in fifth, can be described as tenuous, at best, given how they have spluttered through the Six Nations window storing up eight points out of a possible 20 when they grabbed 19 last season.

Shane Jennings was not about to make excuses.

"Last year we took that opportunity during the Six Nations as a group of players and management team where we did better.

"This year we didn't and I feel that was down to players. They have to take responsibility for that.

"In times gone by, we've delivered. It's going to be a big test of us."

Glasgow coach Gregor Townsend must sense this is the hour to strike a blow for Scottish rugby.

"We've had some great battles with Leinster over the past few seasons and we're expecting another one tomorrow evening in Dublin," he said.

"It'll be the first time we've returned to The RDS since last season's final.

"We know we'll need to play our best rugby if we're to come away with a positive result."

LEINSTER: Z Kirchner; F McFadden, B Te'o, I Madigan, D Kearney; J Gopperth, E Reddan; M Bent, R Strauss, M Moore, T Denton, M McCarthy, J Murphy, S Jennings (capt), J Conan.

GLASGOW: S Hogg; T Seymour, M Bennett, P Horne, DTH van der Merwe; F Russell, N Matawalu; A Allen, F Brown, Z Fagerson, T Swinson, A Kellock (capt), R Harley, C Fusaro, J Strauss.

Verdict: Glasgow


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