Wednesday 17 January 2018

Mike Ross to face the 'rage' of Menini in scrum battle

Mike Ross, Leinster
Mike Ross, Leinster

Toulon prop Alexandre Menini plans to take his "rage" out on Mike Ross.

The 31- year-old loose-head is determined to right the wrongs of how the Toulon scrum caved in to Wasps in the quarter-final.

"I did a lot of video, directly after the game, I saw the scrums. Then I did a debriefing with Jacques Delmas (forwards coach) to get his feeling.

"You have to look and learn from mistakes but we must also evaluate the performance. For if we rest on false analysis, there is no progress.

"I was frustrated, angry, disappointed, but now I have the rage to prove that it was only an incident and that this is not the face I want to show.

"I long to prove that I'm better."

The only way for Menini to prove his point is to make life difficult for Leinster's tight-head.

It was just a few short months ago Ross was looking into an uncertain future.

The 35 year-old was arguing for a two-year contract extension when he ended up with one on his plate from the Irish Football Rugby Union.

Presumably, this was all predicated on the fact Martin Moore had taken over as Leinster's first choice with Tadhg Furlong's youthful impact off the bench pushing Ross out of the squad.

Since then, the Cork man has rediscovered his form and fitness under Joe Schmidt in the Six Nations.

He followed this with a sound return to the Leinster first team against Bath in the Champions Cup quarter-final.

The boot is on the other foot now as Menini is out to repair the reputation that has earned him a handful France caps.

"Mike Ross is a pillar of their pack with a variety of skills. He is a great player, and we necessarily want to mess with him.

"I watched the video but there is only one reality: what happens on the pitch."

Menini has thrown down the gauntlet and it will be up to Ross to respond to the challenge.

It won't be for the first time this season.


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