SEAN CRONIN PIECE
Sean keen to display Best form
BY DAIRE WALSH
LEINSTER’S encounter with Ulster should prove interesting for hooker Sean Cronin, as he comes face-to-face with international rival Rory Best.
Best is currently Joe Schmidt’s preferred choice for the No2 jersey while Cronin was competing with provincial teammate Richardt Strauss for a spot on Ireland’s replacement bench during the latter stages of their Rugby World Cup campaign.
Cronin certainly won’t be short on motivation ahead of the Blues’ opening interprovincial clash of the season and he feels he is capable of making a significant impact.
“That’s probably more of the mind frame that I’m in going up against a quality, quality player,” said Cronin as he launched Rugby Memories, a new initiative of Leinster Rugby’s charity partner the Alzheimer Society of Ireland yesterday.
“I’ve been playing with him in the Ireland set-up now for the last few years and I know what he can bring.
“But I think I have my own attributes as well that hopefully I can bring to the game on Friday and try and influence it.
“I like to get into the game and get some ball carrying going.
“I can also bring a bit of bite around the tackle area. It’s something I have been working on since I came back from the World Cup.”
When you take their back-to-back Champions Cup defeats into consideration, the Pro12 may well be of even greater significance for Leinster this term.
And because it’s a derby, Cronin acknowledged they need to park their European travails for the time being.
He added: “The fact it’s a derby, there’s always a great bite in those games.
“When the lads were away at the World Cup, those that stepped in did very well. We were going quite well in the league. We want to keep that momentum going. A win is paramount on Friday.”