Belfast Telegraph

Leinster blessed to have a fierce fight for places, says Contepomi

 

Strong hand: Felipe Contepomi is delighted by Blues’ options
Strong hand: Felipe Contepomi is delighted by Blues’ options

By Ruaidhri O'Connor

It is easy to take Leinster's ability to fight on two fronts for granted, yet there was something about last Saturday's win in Glasgow that stood out from the pack.

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Despite providing the majority of players to Ireland's World Cup effort, Leo Cullen's men have yet to suffer a defeat this season.

Their schedule is relentless, with the trip to Scotland coming in between four rounds of Europe, with three interprovincial derbies on the way over the festive period and the last two pool games scheduled in January.

So, the head coach made 15 changes to his starting team, resting his front-liners without waving a white flag. Despite the new personnel, they prevailed.

And yet, the return of the Champions Cup means many of those who starred at Scotstoun will be relegated to All-Ireland League action this weekend and will have to wait until the pre-Christmas clash with Ulster - when the Ireland players are in camp - to stake a claim.

This week's trip to Franklin's Gardens is a daunting one against an in-form Northampton Saints team and the experience of the internationals will be key.

Coach Felipe Contepomi said: "We are lucky and wealthy in terms of how tough the competition is within the squad. For us it is not a question of just setting up a team, we want to put the best and the strongest team on the pitch every weekend.

"There are some guys and they are coming in fresh, you see them in training and they are eager to go out and play a game.

"You select them and they perform and then you have some other guys that didn't play and they are fresh (and eager) - that's how rotation goes.

"You can make that rotation. We are lucky that we have a lot of competition for every place and we are able to do that rotation without a dent in performance.

"We try to fit in the best player for that game and that we do it with every position. Then you get the best, or we try to get the best team to represent Leinster."

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