Jono Gibbes’ Leinster v Glasgow Preview…
April 21, 2009 12:00 am client
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s Magners League clash at the RDS, Leinster Forwards Coach JONO GIBBES said that the squad are looking forward to the encounter and comments on his experiences of the Lions tour…
“We needed to rest a few of the players after the Harlequins game, with the short-turnaround and physically they were very sore after a bruising encounter. I think that the week’s rest has done the players (who missed the Edinburgh game) well. In the first two training sessions of the week they have been jumping out of their skins and they’re pretty excited about playing in the RDS again this weekend.
“Glasgow are a tough, physical team. They have pace and power all over the park and I have no doubt that they will come over to Dublin with a lot of confidence. They certainly gave us a big test over in Firhill earlier this year and we know that we will have to be on top of our game to get a result.
“The squad are determined to get back to winning ways. It is vital that we build momentum over the next few weeks and we’re not giving up on the Magners League title.
“It’s kind of strange being up on the other side of the world and seeing how big the Lions is. In New Zealand, the Lions tour represented international rugby coming back to the provinces.
“The Lions supporters who came down to New Zealand on the last tour were first class, especially the Irish ones! I ran into a few of them and they were great. The Maori win was significantly large and it was a great honour to be a part of that.
“It was a different approach for the players who were involved with the Maoris, because some of the players who play in the (midweek) provincial games might never play Test or Super 14 rugby. Then, all of a sudden, 18 months out you’re told that you’ve got to be ready to go and you’ve got to be ready to throw everything at them to see what it’s like to play against Six Nations forwards, all these guys that you see on TV.
“The Lions get everything thrown at them. The midweek games are just as brutal as the Tests.
“As soon as I came here and watched Jamie (Heaslip) operate I thought that he had great skills and athleticism and I’m comfortable that he will be able to face whatever comes his way.
“The Six Nations proved it. He’s young and he’ll be playing with some great players and I feel quite positive about what the tour holds for him as I do for all of our players who have been selected.
“It’s a great honour for Rob (Kearney), Luke (Fitzgerald) and Drico (Brian O’Driscoll). We’re all very proud of them and would obviously like to wish them well. I have no doubt that all four will go on to play massive roles within the squad this summer.”